A number of organisations pertaining to students, workers, and social activists held an emergency meeting in the wake of ongoing protests against the CAA, NRC, and NPR, on Sunday. The group, calling themselves ‘Citizens against divide’ decided to hold a protest march on January 1.
The group feel that the Indian population is being divided in the name of religion by the present regime.
The meeting was presided over by a five member presidium, including former MP Pawan Kumar Bansal, Advocate R S Bains, Prof Manjit Singh, former registrar of Baba Farid University Dr P L Garg, and Advocate Amar Singh Chahal. The students organisations represented at the meeting included Students for Society (SFS), Punjab Students Union (PSU) Lalkar, All India Students Association (AISA), Students Federation of India (SFI), Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), and Youth for Swaraj (Y4S). The collective also included the Tricity Muslim Welfare Association, Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Lokayat, Bekhauf Azadi, Sahit Chintan, and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU).
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Dr Manjit Singh said that the country is facing a serious challenge to its social fabric and secular constitutional values. Bansal criticised the Modi government for misusing the names of veterans like Sardar Patel, while playing with the Constitution which he and other leaders of the independence movement built and defended.
Addressing the gathering, Bains said that as far as citizenship is concerned, even the constitutions of Bangladesh and Pakistan are more secular than what our government is proposing through the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Senior Advocate Chahal warned against the dangers to the country’s federal structure which may have serious implications in the future. Dr P L Garg said that the Prime Minister is befooling the country by claiming that there are no detention centres, even though facts speak otherwise.
The collective will hold a protest march on January 1, 2020 at Sector 17, against the treatment that the Uttar Pradesh police meted out to those protesting against the new citizenship law. They also decided to launch an extended campaign against the CAA, the national register of citizens, and the national population register, under the slogan “Kagaz Nahin Dikhayenge”.
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