While Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), which has been witnessing protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, remained calm on Thursday, the conversations on the campus centred around two words — Constitution and secularism. Student groups and the teachers’ union termed the Bill “unconstitutional” and damaging to the secular fabric of the nation.
“Between yesterday and today, Hindustan has changed,” Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India, told a gathering at the university’s main entrance on Thursday. “Until the Rajya Sabha had not passed the Bill, we could say that we live in a secular nation… Now, I don’t understand how I can say that I am proud of this democracy,” Yadav added as personnel of Rapid Action Force and Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel deployed at the gates of the university looked on. “The real reason behind this (Bill) is the upcoming elections in Assam and West Bengal. People who talk about vote bank politics, their big vote bank in Assam. In 2021, West Bengal will go to polls and the BJP wants to win that in any way possible,” he said.
Former students’ union president Maskoor Ahmad Usmani said that they were demanding the scrapping of the Bill and their protests would continue indefinitely and may also reach Delhi. “We are trying to convey the message to the majority population and not only minority communities to oppose this Bill… We are opposing it because it is an attack on our Constitution and it is completely a communal Bill,” Usmani said.