CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Thursday likened the “peaceful” protests against CAA, NRC and to Mahatma Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement, and said that although the British rulers initially did not hold talks with the protesters, they had to do so eventually.
Questioning the need for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), he said the government should withdraw the new law and also stop the National Register of Citizens (NRC) as well as the National Population Register (NPR) exercises.
Yechury was talking to reporters on the sidelines of an anti-CAA protest organised by his party here.
“People holding tricolours are protesting. Farmers and students are part of it. The government should take back the new citizenship law and stop and NRC exercises,” he said.
People are protesting on the streets peacefully and the agitation is not being led by any politicians, he added.
“Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement was like this. The British government did not talk first, but later on held dialogue with the protesters,” Yechury said.
“Right now, Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) and Home Minister (Amit Shah) are maintaining that the law won’t be rolled back. But the people’s movement has a lot of strength. So the government should do a rethink,” he said.
Through the CAA, the Centre has destablished the country with its “polarisation and communal politics”, he alleged.
“For the first time, citizenship has been linked to religion…CAA is an attack on the Constitution. Not only Muslims, but Dalits and tribals have also been hit by it,” he added.
“What was the need for it? Before the new citizenship law also people were given citizenship. Recently, Pakistan-origin singer Adnan Sami has been given citizenship,” he added.
Sami, who was born in London to a Pakistani Air force veteran, applied for Indian citizenship in 2015 and became a citizen of the country in January 2016. He was given the Padma Shri award in January this year.
Yechury said that CAA will be linked toR and NRC in future.
“An impression is being created that theR is like population census exercise. If ‘D’ (doubtful) is marked in someone’sR, it will turn into an NRC case. The UPA government’sR did not bear fruits. That is why the chief ministers of 13 states have opposed CAA,R and NRC,” he added.
“The states which haven’t stopped theR, should stop it as it will create instability in the country,” Yechury alleged.
“The country is facing economic slowdown, but the government is not admitting it. Unemployment has shot up, farmers are in distress, but their farm loan is not waived,” he said in response to a question.
“The loans of big corporate houses are being written off and the government is selling public sector companies. The US is saying that India has developed and it is not a developing country. But unfortunately, people in the country are becoming poor,” he said.
“The government is adopting a US-type capitalist economy model, which will lead to economic loot in the country,” he added.
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