Hyderabad: MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi in a spirited reply to Army Chief General Bipin Rawat’s remarks on the anti-Citizenship Law said he should know his limitations. He said the right to protest is a constitutional right and General Rawat’s statement undermines the Modi government.
Mr Owaisi also hit out at RSS chief, Mohan Bhagwat over his remarks that “India is a Hindu society irrespective of religions and diversity.” Mr Owaisi said it the RSS mentality that this beautiful country should have only one religion, and that won’t be possible as long as we have the constitution.
In response to General Rawat’s comments on the student protests, the MIM leader said the Army Chief should know the limitations of the institution he heads. “It is a known fact, and the constitution also demands, that in civilian matters the army will not interfere.”
He said whatever the Army Chief has said about the student protests is wrong. With such a statement he is undermining the Modi government. “If the Army Chief’s views are right, then I would like to ask the government whether Modi himself was wrong, as he writes on the website of the Prime Minister of India that he had participated in agitations as a student during the Emergency. Jai Prakash Narayan had given a call to students during the Emergency to join the agitation against Indira Gandhi. They forget that former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had removed Admiral Vishnu Bhagat. For what reason was he removed? In a democracy his statement undermines the government, which is wrong,” Mr Owaisi said.
Mr Owaisi said that the right to protest is a constitutional right. If violence takes place, you have the police, paramilitary forces, not the Army to deal with it.
On RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment that India is a ‘Hindu society’, Mr Owaisi said the RSS wants to destroy the secular fabric of Indian society. “Our constitution celebrates diversity and pluralism (and so) Articles 26, 29 and 30 were incorporated in the constitution. The Constitution tells us that the nation has no religion. This country respects all religions. In fact, India celebrates those people who do not believe in religion. Dr Babasahib Ambedkar has asked us in the Preamble of the constitution to achieve liberty, equality, fraternity and justice. It will be achieved when we follow the faith of our choice,” Mr Owaisi said.
“It is unfortunate that the RSS always says things that are contrary to the Indian constitution. We have the right to equality and right to life in our constitution because we celebrate all these identities. These are Indian identities. Why do you give special protection to the northeast? Can Mohan Bhagwat go to the northeast and say the same thing?” he asked.
Replying to a question regarding the chances of the RSS and BJP penetrating Telangana, he said, “I repose full confidence in the people of Telangana who believe in peace and tranquillity and maintaining the plural culture of ‘Ganga Jamuni’. This will strengthen peace and not allow an opportunity to those forces that are spreading hatred. The Chief Minister is himself secular. I hope that the BJP and RSS will not gain as long as KCR is alive.”