Kerala witnessed a historic moment as both the ruling and opposing party came together to protest against the CAA.
The protest was led by the ruling CPI(M)-led Left Democratic Front and the opposing Congress-led United Democratic Front, demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
Led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, the protest organised at the historic Martyr’s Column at Palayam in the city was a show of strength as well, as people gathered in large numbers at the venue, some holding placards. The hunger strike protest lasted from morning to noon.
“The county has been facing a very severe crisis which has been created by the union government, prompted by the Sangh Parivar agenda of a non-secular country. The concept of the nation of India has been created by the people. The country had been inclusive in accepting diverse people like the Mughals, the Persians, and the Turks, which has been part of historic progress. And the diversity of the nation was reflected in the national movement, the freedom struggle. Those who took part in the struggle dreamed of freedom from which modern India emerged,” Pinarayi Vijayan said.
“The constitution provides rights to people of all religions and those who don’t believe in any religion to live in the country. Allowing the people of Afghanistan in the CAA while excluding the people of other nations that share boundaries with India is not acceptable,” he said.
The opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala said: “After independence, our country is going through one of its darkest times again. Our gathering is a sign of a strong protest against it. Beyond political differences, it is a gathering against the tendencies of fear and dictatorship that’s growing in the country. The (central) government’s attitude has been to suppress the people’s power to protest and react. The atmosphere of fear exists across the country because of the central government’s anti-democratic actions. The media is afraid. Writers are afraid. The people who wish to uphold the values of the country are afraid. They wish to send the people who speak against the government to other planets.”