NEW DELHI – In order to register their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the nationwide NRC, over 60 organisations have come together to launch a non-cooperation movement against any registration (NRC or NRP) based on discriminatory and divisive citizenship.
The organisations have given a call to observe December 19 as the day to reject the Citizenship Amendment Act passed by the Parliament earlier this week.
The organisations have planned more than 100 events under a common banner, “Ham Bharat Ke Log: National Action Against Citizenship Amendment” on the death anniversary of freedom fighters Ashfaqullah Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil.
The organisations equated the CAA with the two-nation theory for introducing a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims for the purposes of granting exemption for citizenship by naturalisation.
In a statement, the National Action Against Citizenship Amendment (NAACA) said “the discriminatory and divisive Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is an assault on our constitution and the inclusive, composite vision of India that guided our freedom struggle. The Republic of India is founded on the negation of the two-nation theory that viewed citizenship through the prism of religion”.
“The recent Amendment to the Citizenship Act brings back the two-nation theory by introducing a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims for purposes of granting exemption for citizenship by naturalisation. The proposal to extend National Register of Citizenship (NRC) to the entire country would institutionalize this divisive citizenship further. It would also be inordinately burdensome on the Indian people given the power of the document owned by just a privileged few. We must not forget the experience of the people of Assam. Put together, the NAA and the NRC can thus disfigure the nature of the Indian republic. Everyone who believes in the idea of India must stand now and be counted in opposition to this onslaught”.
On December 19 in 1947, Mahatma Gandhi visited the Ghaseda village in Mewat (now Haryana) to appeal to Meo Muslims not to leave for Pakistan.
“As many as 70,000 Muslims walked back from Pakistan border after Bapu’s promise on citizenship. Recalling their ‘saajhi virasat’ (shared heritage) and ‘saajhi shahadat’ (shared tradition of martyrdom), citizens all over the country will hold public events to reject the Citizenship Amendment Act and to demand ‘saajhi nagrikta’ (undivided citizenship),” they said.
The organisations include United Against Hate, Karwan-e-Mohabbat, Citizens for Peace and Justice, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), Joint Forum Against NRC (WB), National Alliance for Peoples Movements (NAPM), Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Gandhi Peace Foundation, Rashtra Seva Dal, Sarv Seva Sangh, All India Progressive Women’s Association and Swaraj Abhiyan, among others.