Poser to Gujarat CM: Why permit pro-CAA rally when anti-CAA rallies not allowed?
December 27, 2019
Taking strong objection to the Government of Gujarat permitting an organization called Citizens’ Committee to hold a rally in support of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), an Ahmedabad-based civil rights activist in a letter to chief minister Vijay Rupani has wondered why rallies to protest against CAA, which allegedly violates Articles 5, 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India, are not being allowed.
Written by Mujahid Nafees of the Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a citizens’ initiative to protect minority rights, the letter, a copy of which has been forwarded to chief secretary Anil Mukim, says that “the religion-based citizenship law” has been approved by “ignoring the Constitution.”
Insisting that the “Constitution is the result of the long struggle against the British”, the letter says, “The rallies against CAA were planned to honour the freedom movement martyrs” who had fought for India’s freedom, and also to “safeguard the fundamental element of the constitution”.
It adds, “Off-the-record even officials say they have been told from the very top not to allow protests against CAA, hence they had no other option but to disallow such protests.”
The letter wonders, as to why a rally in support of CAA by an organization called Citizens' Committee has been approved”, despite the fact that “Article 14 of our Constitution clearly upholds equality before the law and equal protection by law.”
Nafees quotes the Constitution’s Article 14, which says, "Equality before law: The State shall not deny any person before equality before the law or equal protection under the laws of India's Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth."
Objecting to allowing one set of people for take out a rally, while not allowing others, the letter asks Rupani to intervene in the matter and treat both the sets of people equally. “I am confident that you will rise above partisan politics in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution”, it adds.Meanwhile, releasing photographs of the huge banners on the the main gate of Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad, Mudita Vidrohi, a young Gandhian activist, says, "Huge posters along the wall of Ashram can be seen supporting CAA. Loudspeakers are there, chairs are there."
She sarcastically adds, "First of all congratulations to the Ashram Trust for standing true to Gandhi's spirit, Gandhi must be smiling from wherever he may be. Please someone show me one example in the country where rally was given the permission to oppose CAA in this manner."
First published in Counterview.
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