BHOPAL: A massive gathering Bhopal's Iqbal Maidan on Wednesday called for a peaceful movement against the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on the lines of Mahatma Gandhi’s Non –cooperation movement of 1920-1922.
The gathering was addressed by former CM and present Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh, Congress MLA Arif Masood, besides Urdu poet-turned-politician Imran Pratapgarhi.
Addressing the gathering, former CM Digvijaya Singh said “All those who have utmost faith in India’s Constitution will never allow the black law to be implemented in the country. The ruling BJP is just the mask and branches of the tree, whose roots are represented by the RSS, whose ideology murdered Mahatama Gandhi. Divide-and-rule was British strategy to govern in India, which is now being followed by those presently in power. But let me make it clear that whoever tries to divide us will meet Hitler’s fate.”
Taking a dig at the Narendra Modi government on the NRC-CAA issue, Singh said home minister Amit Shah said 40 lakh intruders would be ousted from the country. But the list of 19.5 lakh intruders drawn in Assam (after years of effort under NRC and expenditure of around Rs 1600 crore) included individuals who as brave soldiers of defence forces fought in the battlefield for the country. The list in Assam, included 11 lakh Bengali Hindus and around 1.5 lakh Gorkha Nepalis. “So those thinking that NRC is anti-Muslim should understand that NRC is equally against Hindus. Under the NRC you need to possess eight documents as evidence dating back to pre-1971 to prove that you are an Indian citizen. From where will one bring those old documents,” said Singh.
While congratulating AICC president Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Rahul Gandhi and all other political parties and politicians who have been opposing the NRC-CAA, the Rajya Sabha member questioned what has happened to Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ramvilas Paswan over the issue. “Only those who’re afraid of Income Tax department, ED and CBI are not opposing the twin black laws.”
Ridiculing both PM Modi and union home minister Amit Shah for giving call to Muslims for believing in them and BJP, Singh said, “How will anyone believe you after the 2002 Gujarat riots. Both PM Modi and home minister Amit Shah can be nobody’s friends, look what has happened to BJP stalwart LK Advani, who primarily supported Narendra Modi,” said Singh.
Urdu poet-turned politician Imran Pratapgarghi (who finished a distant third as Congress candidate from Moradabad Lok Sabha seat of UP in 2019 polls) cancelled his Qatar trip to be for the gathering in Bhopal. “We’ve to ensure that our movement remains totally peaceful on lines of Mahatama Gandhi’s Non-cooperation movement. I’ve witnessed what has happened in Delhi, don’t allow your movement to turn violent. Just be alert, people covering faces with black cloths will suddenly enter your peaceful procession to make it violent, just to defame it. Don’t allow properties, including buses and trains to be burnt as they are our properties too.”
“Learn new slogans, learn new ways of peaceful protest, create new posters, but never take up stone in your hands, as our opponents want us to do that just to defame our movement,” said Pratagarhi.
While claiming that NRC-CAA is not anti-Muslim only, but actually anti-nation, the poet-turned-politician said “I’ve all the documents if required for NRC-CAA. But I would prefer going to detention camp/jail rather than rendering those documents. Send us to detention camps/jails, we’re not afraid of going there, as we will build new India there. No one can dare to oust us from our ancestral land.”
He further said, “It’s often being said that we don’t know what NRC-CAA actually are. Some of us might not be knowing full form of NRC-CAA, but all of us actually know the divisive politics of RSS-BJP.”