“The Citizenship Amendment Bill is an attack on the Indian Constitution”: Yaseen Kodibengre at protests against CAB2 min read
MANIPAL: Amidst nationwide uprising against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), voices of dissent collectively gathered at the Deputy Commissioner (DC) Office in Manipal on December 11. The protest was organised by the Student Islamic Organization (SIO) and the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Prominent speakers during the event included PR Secretary of the SIO Karnataka, Yaseen Kodibengre, Vice-President of the Karnataka Rashtra Samithi (KRS), Amrith Shenoy, and writer G Rajshekhar. Students, activists and members of the Welfare Party of India and the Karnataka Rashtra Samithi actively participated in the protest with placards and slogans.
Speaking during the event, Yaseen Kodibengre expressed that the bill was a direct assault on the soul of the Constitution of India and went against Articles 5 to 11 and Article 14. He said that the ruling party was trying to sway the voters of the majority community through an anti-Muslim stance. He added that the legislation was being hypocritical as it considered religious minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan for citizenship owing to the oppression in their present countries, but disregarded Rohingya Muslims, Srilankan Tamils and Chinese Uyghurs who are also suffering the same fate. He also commented on Home Minister of Karnataka Basavaraj Bommai’s proposed plans to implement the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC) in Karnataka, by saying that it was unreasonable to make nearly six crore Kannadigas prove their citizenship to identify 800 Bangladeshi immigrants.
Writer G Rajashekhar opined that the ruling party had no respect for the unity and diversity of the country. “During the 2003 Gujarat Riots, when thousands of Muslims were barbarically killed, the then-Chief Minister Narendra Modi had remained silent and disregarded Muslims as human beings, let alone citizens of the country. Today we have arrived at a similar situation,” he said.
Sloganeering during the protest, Amrith Shenoy said that the people of the country will never accept a Hindu Rashtra. Commenting on the economic complexities of the NRC, he remarked that after spending more than 1500 crore rupees over a period of six years, the authorities excluded more than 18 lakh people from the NRC, and are building detention centres that can house 3000 people at the cost of 46 crore rupees. He propounded that through such legislations, the government is trying to deviate the attention of the public from real issues such as farmer suicides, rapes and safety of women, and inflation, amongst others.
Speaking to The Manipal Journal, participant G Mohammad Imran said that the bill may also pose security threats to the country as it makes it easier for foreign spies and agents to enter and seek asylum here. He also commented that the government was trying to obstruct the flow of information from states with heavy riots and protests, by imposing internet blockades.
Vittal Thottam, Shabbir Malpe, Afwan Hoode, Shahrukh Thirthahalli and Idris Hoode—prominent personalities from various backgrounds—were also present during the protest.
Featured Image Courtesy: Luca Kraus
Edited by: Vaibhavi Vaman