Friday, December 27, 2019

democracy, right to protest and .. .. thus spake the FM in Feb 2012


In a democracy (of which India is the finest example) citizen’s voices must be heard; subjects should voice their opinion in a peaceful manner ~ whatever may be violence shall not pass ! and acts such as the ones highlighted in the Press in the name of protests shall not be allowed.

According to official sources, public property worth crores of rupees have either been destroyed or have been looted by the mob in various parts of the state. Worst chaos  prevailed in the state of West Bengal as the Govt apparently has not taken any action against rioters, whom many allege are not even citizens of the Nation.  At Krishnapur station in Murshidabad district a number of empty trains were set on fire, besides railway tracks at Lalgola station, which they also ransacked. The goons  vandalised Sujnipara also in Murshidabad district and set fire on railway tracks at Harishchandrapur in neighbouring Malda district. They ransacked Sankrail railway station in Howrah district, torched its ticket counter and damaged the signalling system. “When RPF and railway personnel tried to stop them, they were beaten up,” a senior Railway Protection Force official said.  How sad !!

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which grants Indian citizenship to the non-Muslims of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, was passed by the Rajya Sabha - as many as 125 lawmakers voted in the favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and 99 against it. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill voting in Rajya Sabha was taken up after six hours of debate on the legislation.  Besides the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the CAB was supported by JD(U), SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress. The Shiv Sena did not participate in the voting. The citizenship bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with a majority of 311 votes against 80.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill exempts certain areas in the North-East from this provision. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura as included in Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the area covered under the Inner Limit notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. This effectively means that Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram along with almost whole of Meghalaya and parts of Assam and Tripura would stay out of the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.  Do the protesters and organisers know at least partial facts of the Bill ?

In a Democracy, voicing of opinion, protests are most welcome – b u t – that right is allowed only to the citizens of the country – no other country would ever allow foreign nationals to organize, participate, incite violence in their soil.  In between do you know or remember Sonnteg Reiner Hermann and how he was treated ? – the former FM who is out of the jail citing ailments but participated in the protect, seemingly thinks that public memory is short-lived.

Now read further - It’s Janne-Mette Johansson’s fifth visit to India, but on Thursday morning immigration officials visited the 71-year-old Norwegian citizen at her hotel in Fort Kochi. She was ordered to appear at Kochi international airport 20km away for “questioning” because she had participated in anti-CAA protest rally in Ernakulam on December 23.  She was eventually let off with a warning and told that she could remain in Kochi pending a “decision” on whether she could stay on in India or not. Her visa expires  in March and visa regulations prohibit  a tourist from taking part in such protests.

A day after German student Jakob Lindenthal from IIT Madras was sent back to his country by immigration department on charges of him joining a protest against CAA and NRC, Congress leader P. Chidambaram took  to his twitter handle to criticise his expulsion.  Hinting towards the events that unfolded in Nazi-Germany under Adolf Hitler, the Congress leader wrote, "The German is reminding us of a dark chapter in the world's history so that we may not repeat that in India.  24-year-old Jakob Lindenthal was told to leave by the Immigration department that insisted on him violating his visa rules by indulging in political activities in India. Jakob Linthedal was a student in the Physics Department of IIT Madras.  Holding a placard that had an indirect reference to the Nazi persecution of the Jews in Germany between 1933-45 during the Hitler regime, he had told co-participants at a protest last week that small measures against Jews had not attracted much attention initially.

BJP called Rahul Gandhi as “jhoothon ka sardar” (master of lies) as it hit back at the former Congress chief on Thursday for his ‘liar’ jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party cited several documents from 2011-12 to stress that detention centres were set up in Assam by the then UPA government. Addressing a presser, BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said “doublespeak” is the other name of Congress and recalled that then home minister P Chidamabaram had handed over the first NPR card to then President Pratibha Patil and later to UPA chief Sonia Gandhi.  Now, if you get to read newspapers of Feb 29, 2012 – they would read : Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that there was information to show that German national Sonnteg Reiner Hermann, who was deported on Tuesday, had links with the anti-Kudankulam nuclear project protests which was not consistent with his tourist visa. Addressing a press conference, he said Hermann was sent back to Frankfurt on a flight because his conduct here was certainly not consistent with a person who comes here as a tourist.  "There was information to show that he had links with the anti-Kudankulam stir that was not consistent with a person who had come here on a tourist visa," he said. The minister also disclosed that cases have been filed against four NGOs after it was found prima facie that they were involved in diversion of foreign funds from the purpose for which they were received.

Double tongued repartee from someone who cited ill-health after more than 100 days in jail .. now on bail.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Dec 2019.

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