Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
NEW DELHI – Political leaders including former home minister P. Chidambaram on Monday slammed Home Minister Amit Shah over his threat to eliminate Shaheen Bagh from Delhi’s surface. This is where thousands of people led by women have been protesting against the religiously discriminatory citizenship law (CAA) for more than a month.
Addressing an assembly poll meeting in the capital, Shah said. “We want a Delhi which doesn’t have Saheen Bagh.” He also sought votes in order to prevent situations like the present sit-in protests at Shaheen Bagh. “Your vote for the BJP will make Delhi and the country safer and prevent thousands of incidents like Shaheen Bagh. When you press the button (of EVM) on February 8, do so with such anger that its current is felt at Shaheen Bagh,” he was quoted as having held forth.
Shah’s statement on the Shaheen Bagh, which is the epicentre of the anti-CAA protests, has drawn flak from various quarters. Senior Congress leader and former Union home minister P Chidamabaram said the elimination plan on Shaheen Bagh is like getting rid of the ideals of non-violence and Satyagrah.
Slamming Shah’s remarks, Chidambaram said in a series of tweets, “Home minister seeks votes to get rid of Shaheen Bagh. Only those who despise Gandhiji would want to get rid of Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh represents the essence of Mahatma Gandhi.”
Similarly, JD(U) vice president and political and poll strategist Prashant Kishor also took a dig at Shah’s comment over the Shaheen Bagh protests, and he warned the BJP of defeat in the Delhi assembly elections.
“The EVM button will be pressed mildly. They must feel the hard blow in a mild manner so that the brotherhood and communal harmony should not come under threat. Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity,” tweeted the political strategist, putting the symbol of the National Flag on his handle.
The ruling BJP has been targeting the Shaheeb Bagh sit-in which has become the symbol of the resistance against the Narendra Modi government’s policies like the Citizenship Amendment Act, the proposed Nationwide National Register of Citizens and the National Population of Register. The CAA is being criticised and opposed for excluding Muslims from new grants of citizenships and the NRC, it is feared, may lead to the statelessness of millions of people who don’t have mandatory documents for proving their citizenship as has happened in the tiny state Assam through a recent NRC push. The National Population Register (NPR) is the first step towards the NRC.
Earlier, the BJP had released a video of JNU student activist Sharjeel Imam in which he was heard calling for road-blocks in Assam and North-East. Assam geographically links the rest of North-East with India. Imam, the organiser of the Shaheen Bagh protest in its first phase, has been slapped with sedition cases for his controversial statements. Many activists including former Supreme Court judge Markendey Katju opposed the imposition of sedition charges on Imam.
Yet, Shaheen Bagh has been receiving enormous public support from all sections of the society. Twitter users expressed their supports by trending multiple times in its favor. After Shah’s comments, Twitter was taken by storm with #Shaheen Bagh se hilti sarkar (Government was rattled by Shaheen Bagh).