NEW DELHI: Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi labelling protesters against the amended citizenship law as ‘educated Naxals’ and ‘urban Naxals’ at the BJP’s Ramlila Maidan rally on Sunday, activists said it did not behove a man of his stature and position to speak “lowly” of genuine protesters who are raising their voices against “injustice”.
Poll analyst-turned-politician Yogendra Yadav, who heads Swaraj Abhiyan, said he was not “shocked but sad” that such words were used by the prime minister to trivialise those raising voices of dissent against the contentious piece of legislation.
“I am not aware of the educational background of the so-called ‘educated Naxals’. However, such remarks only show that our prime minister has none. Naxals were a very small and insignificant sub-stream of the Left, which was rejected by the people 20 years ago. The aim was simply to coin an abusive word to label the anti-CAA protesters, which, coming from the PM, is very sad. Till now, only low-grade BJP trolls would use such terms. But now, it seems, the PM, too, is toeing their line,” Yadav told this newspaper.
Breaking his silence after week-long nationwide protests against the amended Citizenship Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the PM, on Sunday, dismissed claims that detention centres are being built for NRC rejects in the country. He said the Congress, along with its allies, some ‘educated Naxals’ and ‘urban Naxals’ were spreading canards against the amended citizenship law to instigate violent protests on the streets.
“There are cases on detention centres in Assam in the Supreme Court. I think the prime minister is sinking to new lows. It’s funny he is speaking falsehoods when the entire country has united in protest against the CAA,” Colin Gonsalves, a senior advocate, said.
“If he continues in this vein, people would soon stop believing their prime minister. He must not test people’s patience,” Gonsalves said.