Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Muslim central committee organized a massive gathering of protestors against Citizenship Amendment Act and National Register of Citizens yesterday at Adyar Kannur, in Mangaluru, Karnataka. Seeking freedom in the names of Dr. Ambedkar, Gandhi, Tipu Sultan and Kashmir around one lakh protestors gathered and the crowd was flowing in tightly packed vehicles.The protesters demanded justice for Nousheen (23) from Kudroli and Jalil (49) from Bunder, who were shot dead by Mangaluru police on December 19, 2019, at an earlier phase of the ongoing protest against Citizenship Amendment Act. They were not part of any protests. Mohammed Saqib, Popular Front of India’s state president demanded action to be taken against the police officers who fired at Nousheen and Jalil. He said that the fight would be taken to the Supreme Court. There are FIRs filed in the names of Jalil and Nousheen, after murder.
“It is my democratic right, it is my fundamental right to protest, to agitate, when this sort of a law is brought in. I will agitate, I will protest. When I come to agitate Mangaluru police brings in section 144. Two people are murdered. When their fundamental rights are targeted they have all the rights to agitate. Are you British? Who are you to put section 144 in effect? I am telling this to police officers who shot them, we will take them to the Supreme Court. We will not leave them. We will do everything possible to punish the culprits.” said Saqib. Mangaluru City police Commissioner IPS PS Harsha gave the order to fire.
Former IAS officer, writer and rights activist Harsh Mander inaugurated the massive gathering. He said that for being Indian by choice, every Muslim in India has the right to claim the citizenship of this country. “Seventy years ago, our Constitution was formed and today the whole country is united to protect our Constitution. Hindustan has 4 soldiers that are Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, who are united today and our voice should be heard by the government. The hate politics which focus on dividing people should stop. The theme of the protest is national flag in one hand, Constitution is another and people will march forward with love in their hearts. There is only one thing to fight with, that is love. We are full of love in this fight.
I do not want to be spared if the Muslims of this country are to be thrown out. The question of citizenship is not something new that came up now, it was being discussed a hundred years ago. Gandhiji had a vision for India and Ambedkar had a vision for Constitution. All of us belonging to different religions are united today and the theme of our fight is Constitution in one hand and the tricolor flag on the other. Muslim League wanted two countries, Hindustan for Hindus and Pakistan for Muslims. Muslims preferred to live in this country which was not by chance but by choice. This country belongs to Muslims just as much as it belongs to Hindus.” We will not prove our identity to those who didn’t participate in the freedom struggle. Babri Masjid, Kashmir, everything is messed up and now what remains is their aim to make this country a ‘Hindurashtra’, Harsh Mander said.
Kannan Gopinathan who quit the Indian administrative services in protest to the muzzling of the voices of Kashmiri citizens after the abrogation of article 370 addressed the mass gathering. “People are gathering to protect India’s secularism and Indian Constitution. When it began in Mangaluru there was a problem, two lives are lost. I condemn that act for once being part of the administrative system, it is something that shouldn’t have happened from the part of administration. This government had a thought that it can scare people to sit their houses. They thought they can scare the media, they can scare the judiciary, they can scare the civil society. When the fear is gone everyone will be out to protest. When in September and October I used to go to cities and started talking to people about what is NRC, CAA and NPR, who is going to get affected etc. after demonetization, the poor became poorer, but the government told people look, the rich became poor, and be happy for that. The government brought in all these with asking yes/ no questions, and to most of the questions people said yes, without knowing what it is. Amit Shah says they will not step back an inch, but he is saying this walking two kilometers behind. When people started asking questions in to their eyes, that moment they started backing off. The responsibility to save India’s secularism and Constitution is not just that of the Muslims. Hindus,Sikhs and Christians too have the responsibility to save India.
After finding one crore people having no documents to prove their citizenship, what are you going to do with them? Are you going to shut them inside detention centers? I think there are two benefits of this movement, Muslim community which is sidelined and thus kept themselves away from the mainstream, has entered the mainstream again and started asserting their identity and rights, pointing that the constitutional rights are meant for everyone, that is a great change. A Hindu youth generation was growing up which decided to exterminate Muslims and Dalits, but because of this movement, youths and students, they don’t demarcate religious lines, they are realizing what is democracy and what is equality. I believe that it is a success. Now the prime minister asks “what is NRC?” They had attempted that they can execute NRC via NPR. But two states have stayed it, six to seven states decided not to implement NPR and issued resolution. This is the success of this movement. We need to boycott NPR in the BJP ruled states, if we boycott, NPR and NRC won’t be possible. On January 22, the court will hear the petitions.” Kannan said.
“We demand that in February session, opposition should not allow the implementation of NPR, NRC and CAA and people should fight against CAA, NRC and NPR in the streets. Ambedkar had warned Nehru about the making of a Hindurashtra and had said that it would be dangerous if it happens. Hindu nation will not be against Muslims but also against Dalits, poor and suppressed. BJP only delivered fake promises, be it unemployment, farmers suicide, drop in GDP and the ongoing economic crisis. If they say they will not step an inch back, we will fight against them, wipe them off. Without knowing the history of independence you are simply dividing people.” Journalist and Human rights activist Shivasundar said.
Why is there violence in a state where BJP is ruling? Police can control over one lakh crowd in pro-CAA protest but to control around 200 people, police want to use guns. When police do not follow Indian Republic and prefer to follow Kalladka Republic and Nagpur Republic this will be the consequence.” Journalist and Human rights activist Shivasundar said. Constitutions says we are the people of this country. We are the owner of this country and president , we are the owner of this country and president, prime minister, DC, SP are public servants. We have decided to live in harmony. When you don’t know anything about Indian independence, you don’t understand people’s sentiments. At least start reading history books.”said Shivsundar.
Advocate Sudheer Kumar Maroli, president of Muslim Central Committee K S Mohammed Masood, Ullal Qazi Fazal Koyamma Tangal, Dakshina Kannada district Wakf Committee president U K Monu Kanachur, MLA U T Khader, MLC B M Farooq, former MLA B A Mohiuddin Bava, Sunni Youth Federation state general secretary Dr Abdul Rashid Zaini, and Karnataka Samastha Mushavara state secretary U K Abdul Aziz Darimi were present. Muslim Central Committee vice president Ibrahim Kodinjal welcomed the gathering. Muslim Central Committee BA Mumtaz Ali rendered vote of thanks. Representatives from different political parties and organizations attended the meeting.
(With added inputs from regional media)