June 12, 2022

TN: Demonstration in Chennai against Attacks on Minorities

V B Ganesan

THE Tamil Nadu Minorities Welfare Association organised a massive demonstration at the Valluvar Kottam in Chennai on June 6 to protest against the attacks on minorities, their properties and livelihood across the country. The speakers called upon the people to defeat the BJP’s deception and its ploy to divide the people on the basis of religion and caste in order to divert their attention from the burning economic issues.

Association general secretary M Ramakrishnan presided over the demonstration, in which leaders of the CPI(M), CPI, DMK, Congress, VCK and the MMK participated and called upon the people to stand united to defeat the nefarious designs of the RSS-BJP to turn India into a theocratic state. The leaders and the participants raised slogans denouncing the communal activities of the RSS-BJP and expressing their resoluteness to stand united against this onslaught.

VCK general secretary Vanni Arasu said that BJP is now vigorously targeting the places of worship. They are dividing the people by stoking religious hatred against one another in order to divert attention from their misdeeds which have now brought the country to the brink. He also reminded the gathering that such a religious and ethnic one-upmanship has brought in an oligarchy in Sri Lanka and now the people have realised their folly and are standing united to fight against that oligarchy. He said that India too is moving towards such a situation.

MMK leader and MLA Jawahirullah said that history has proved repeatedly that autocrats will be punished eventually. When Shaheen Bagh in Delhi erupted in protest against the CAA, union home minister Amit Shah castigated them as “Tukde Tukde Gang”. Now, the country’s external affairs ministry in a statement termed BJP’s Nupur Sharma and Naveen Kumar Jindal as “fringe elements.” That’s how the time turns into a circle. Prime Minister Modi and the BJP have divested all the rights of the states during its eight-year rule. Only through the unity of the people and secular parties, the BJP can be defeated and its designs thwarted.

DMK spokesperson and MP TKS Elangovan reiterated that only the constitution is supreme in a democracy. The only duty of the elected government is to ensure social and economic security of its citizens. Instead, the BJP government is vigorously selling the treasures of the country to corporates and its cronies without any qualm. He further reiterated that Tamil Nadu will not allow communalism to raise its ugly head in the state.  

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat addressed the gathering amid cheers over her heroic efforts in stopping the demolition of a Muslim habitat in Delhi recently. In her address, she said that the 75th year of India’s independence is approaching. But the current situation is only giving us greater miseries and much greater challenges. It is also the time for us to review what kind of progress we have achieved after giving ourselves the constitution. In the hands of the BJP-RSS there is no constitution of India, but the symbol of bulldozer. It is not just a machine. It represents the toxic ideology of religious hatred. It represents the critical strategy of the BJP-RSS to divide the people of India to undo the constitution of India and to reach the goal of a theocratic India which was rejected by the freedom struggle.

The people of this country want jobs, they want a control on price rise, they want livelihood, but the BJP government at the centre has no concern about these fundamental issues. Instead of setting up factories, manufacturing industries and giving jobs, the BJP has only one factory – that is to manufacture issues of division. That’s what they are doing now in Karnataka – in the name of hijab and halal meat. The livelihood issues of the people of Karnataka are marginalised and such divisive issues are being manufactured. Now they are changing all the textbooks. They have removed Bhagat Singh, Periyar, Narayana Guru. They have removed all the social reformers who fought against Manuvaad and Manusmriti and in its place they are bringing RSS icons who compromised with the British, she said.

Brinda Karat reminded the leaders of the BJP-RSS of the person who first raised the slogan of complete independence of India when their predecessors were serving the British game of divide and rule. It was a communist who demanded at the 1921 Ahmedabad session of the Congress complete independence of India, which Gandhiji at that time said was impractical. We remember him today, Maulana Hasrat Mohani. That’s patriotism. We don’t have to prove our patriotism to those who are busy dividing the people of India. Today it must be our duty to raise our voice of patriotism, our nationalism. As a true patriotic citizen of this country, we stand up and say no to this bulldozer. Because it is not just minorities who are under attack. Today they may be the target. But it is the duty of everyone to defend the secular fabric of India, she said.

CPI state secretary R Mutharasan said that the BJP government is clandestinely destroying and weakening the Places of Worship Act of 1991. Today’s rulers at the centre are barbaric in their design and actions. They are dividing the people on religious basis to avert a situation like Sri Lanka. But we cannot leave this situation as our fate and have to raise our voices unitedly on August 8 this year and shout “Modi, Quit India!”

Peter Alphonse, a senior Congress leader and chairman of the Minorities Commission of Tamil Nadu, emphasized that it has to be reminded to everyone that each and every section of society, even when they are in a majority at a particular place, turns into a minority in some other part of the country. In realizing this dictum, minorities of all hues should be safeguarded by the majority in the society. That will be the true calling of democracy. When everyone has freedom to pursue their passion and belief, that will be the hallmark of democracy. He also said the BJP has now suspended two of its leaders who made derogatory remarks against the Prophet because of the backlash from Gulf countries and it is only for business interests they are doing this somersault and not because of any change of heart.

President of the Tamil Nadu Minorities Welfare Association S Noor Mohammed detailed the future course of actions of the association and requested everyone to stand united and defeat the nefarious designs of the RSS-BJP.