Hyderabad: Kannan Gopinathan, the IAS officer from Kerala who resigned in protest over the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, on Monday called the NRC not only anti-Muslim but also anti-poor.
He was speaking at ‘Public Talk on 1st Session of 17th Lok Sabha’ at Tipu Sultan Square at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), organised by MANUU Students Union.
He said that the Union government will not implement NRC without bringing the citizenship amendment bill (CAB). The purpose of this move is to target Muslims as CAB will bail out certain groups while a certain community will not be covered under it.
Mr Kannan said with this move, a larger section will be embroiled for a longer period, because this process will take years to complete and it will waste lots of public money. In Assam, it was completed in a span of six years and the government has spent 1,600 crores for this exercise and declared about 19 lakhs people as having failed to prove their citizenship.
Common people have spent Rs 8,000 crore so far on the appealing process as their names were not included in the NRC.
Mr Kannan said that if a Muslim who is educated and economically sound prepares documents to prove his indigenous inhabitation, it means he is paving the way for four Muslims to be sent detention centres, because a large number of poor and uneducated Muslims would not be able to show documentary evidence.
“Now, if you do not resist and stand against the move, then you will not be able to even raise questions about the process as once you are declared intruder or non-citizen of India, then you will lose the fundamental right conferred on you as a citizen of India, “ he said. “In jails, you may not lose certain rights, but in detention centres, you will be deprived of even basic rights which are given to Indian citizens,” he added.
Mr Kannan said it is shocking and unfortunate that people have become silent spectators over the anti people polices of the government.
The silence of the people encourages the government to adopt policies which target certain sections. This kind of silence is not good for a democracy. In a democracy, questions are raised not to destabilise the government, but to bring transparency and clear doubts. Demonetisation would not have been possible if people had sought clarification when politicians were speaking about kala dhan (black money). People assumed that they were talking about bringing the black money hoarded in Switzerland but the government was eyeing money saved by poor people.
Mr Kannan expressed amazement that even community leaders are keeping quiet. “We hope that students will come forward to save this nation. Students were the main force behind the independence struggle. During the Emergency, students raised the voice of dissent. Even now, only students are raising their voices,” he said.
He told students that if their parents opposes them, then instead of disassociating from the movement they have started, they should politely disobey them.
He said a misconception is prevalent that the government has the consent of a large section of the people for its wrong doings, which is not true. “We are making this assumption considering the strength of ruling party. The real fact is that only 30 per cent voters had voted in favour of a ruling party, it means 70% voters have not accorded their blessing to the ruling party. There is a need to mobilize this section of the society. A mass nation-wide movement needs to be launched against the NRC,” he said.