Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying that “people who drafted this Bill have drawn from the Nazi copybook”.
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, he called the legislation “anti-India”, “anti-Bengali” and violative of the Constitution and pointed out that the 1 crore people who entered West Bengal in 1971 did so due to linguistic and not religious persecution.
“There is a view that the Bill from here will go 3.7 km down to another domed building i.e. the Supreme Court. But, in between, we have a different view. In between, there will be a people’s movement,” he said.
“We have recently seen many have been trying to portray themselves as Bengali-lovers. They come and say even in Parliament that Durga Puja is not being celebrated in Bengal. Sir, thousands of Durga Pujas are celebrated …do not try to teach Bengalis about patriotism; do not try to teach the Bengalis about citizenship.”
“One crore people came from East Pakistan. This is not about persecution-religious; this was linguistic persecution, linguistic persecution in the 1970s,” O’Brien said.
“We are moving from a democracy to a dictatorship. It’s not rhetoric; it’s a fact…People who drafted this bill have drawn from the Nazi copybook,” he said.
Saying that the CAB and NRC cannot be separated, he said, “You could not run NRC in one state… and now you have the gumption to tell Parliament it will happen in 27.”
“Someone said, I think, yesterday, or the Prime Minister said, may have read it, it was that ‘after this, it will be written in golden letters’. Yes, Sir, it will be written in golden letters. I will tell you where it will be written. This great day! It will be written on the Father of the Nation’s grave. But which Father of the Nation? In Karachi — Mazare-e-Quaid. That will be written on Jinnah’s grave; not on our Father of the Nation’s grave,” he said. “I appeal to those parties who are sitting here, the JD(U) and BJD, very humbly, that today is the day for you to stand up and be counted. Not because what you have to answer to your Chairperson in Bihar or Odisha. No. What will you tell to your grandchildren 20 years from now when they ask you which button did you press?,” O’Brien said.