Amid ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), former President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said it is heartening to see people’s assertion and belief in the Constitution of India
While Mukherjee did not mention the controversial law in his speech at the first memorial lecture of India’s first chief election commissioner Sukumar Sen, his remarks were clearly seen in the context of massive protests.
“The last few months have witnessed people come out on the streets in large numbers, particularly the young, to voice their views on issues, which in their opinion, are important. Their assertion and belief in the Constitution of India is particularly heartening to see,” the former President said in his speech at the event organised by the Election Commission of India (ECI).
“Consensus is the lifeblood of democracy. Democracy thrives on listening deliberating, discussing, arguing, even dissenting,” he said.
“Complacency enables authoritarian tendencies to gain ground,” he was quoted as saying by PTI. “I believe the present wave of largely peaceful protests that have gripped the country shall once again enable further deepening of our democratic roots.”
The remarks by the former Union minister and senior Congress leader who served as India’s President from 2012 to 2017 came amid massive protests, particularly by young and the women, against the controversial citizenship law and the NRC.
The new law promises citizenship to members of 6 non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014.
Critics say that the new law is against the secular nature of the Indian Constitution and clubbed with the NRC may be misused to strip away some Muslims’ citizenship in the country. The BJP, however, has argued that the law has nothing to do with India’s Muslims and only helps those who fled religious persecution in the neighbouring countries.
Courtesy : DNA