February 02, 2020

Tamil Nadu: Secular Progressive Front launches signature campaign against CAA

V B Ganesan

IN a meeting held at Chennai on January 24, presided over by the DMK president, M K Stalin, all political parties in the Secular Progressive Front have unanimously decided to launch a signature campaign against CAA from February 2 to 8, 2020. During the deliberations, the parties expressed their strong condemnation against the unilateral actions of BJP in undermining the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India and to divert the attention of people from the serious economic disarray the country is facing.

PM Narendra Modi and home minister, Amit Shah were assertive in both the houses of parliament as well as in public meetings and interviews that they will prepare NRC, whatever may be the cost. Following vehement public opposition from all parts of India, they are trying to hoodwink the people that only NPR is being undertaken. The home minister is also assertive that they will not withdraw CAA at any cost. Conversely, the PM is hiding the fact by announcing that there is no plan to undertake NRC.

On the other hand , the released NPR manual of the home ministry states that details, such as besides the name of the parents, their place of birth etc., will be collected along with their name, parent’s name, sex, place of birth, date of birth, temporary and permanent address of residence, marriage details etc. But the advertisement released by the central government and central ministers telling repeatedly that no documentary evidence should be produced at the time of enumeration. Conversely, the NPR manual states about 10 documents to be collected and the enumerators were told it is important to collect documentary evidence including place and date of birth of parents.  In order to help to identify the date of birth, 32 festivals are included in the NPR manual, which excluded the Muslim festivals, the power given to the enumerators of NPR to register citizens as ‘doubtful’ , to file cases against those who refuse to provide information as sought for are not symptoms of genuine and honest enumeration of citizens.

The BJP is hell bent to make the country a battle field of agitations in order to redeem its electoral promises. Every act of the BJP government is to put every citizen of the country to stand in line and shout that “We are the Citizens of this country!”

The meeting indicted the AIADMK and termed it as one of the main culprits for this situation along with PMK MPs, who have supported CAB and voted to make it into an Act. Even after inflicting severe attack on the Srilankan Tamils and Muslims of the state, the Tamil Nadu CM is trying to fool the people of the state blaming that the opposition is trying to create a false fear among the minorities. While the Kerala assembly has passed a resolution against CAA and filed a case before the Supreme Court, some other states too followed suit to oppose the CAA and NPR. Some of the BJP allies too trying to wriggle out from this fiasco. But the AIADMK government not even allowed to file a private member resolution demanding the repeal of CAA in the assembly. It has totally surrendered to the BJP government at the centre. The meeting also recorded its deep anguish over the slavish mentality of AIADMK and its government and requested the chief minister, Palanisamy to convene his cabinet immediately and pass a resolution that the state will not allow the NPR process in Tamil Nadu.

Further the all party meeting also called upon the people of the state not to offer any personal information in case the NPR process is taken up in the state. In order to repeal the CAA, to stop NPR process as a prelude to NRC to assimilate the opposition and to build up a massive mass movement against these, the meeting has decided to conduct a ‘signature campaign’ across the state and the collected signatures will be handed over by the elected representatives of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to the President of India and seek his intervention to take necessary action on the basis of unanimous opposition of the people of Tamil Nadu to CAA , NPR and NRC. The meeting also called upon all section of the people to extend their whole-hearted support to the signature campaign and make it a massive success.