On the anniversary of the assassination of M K Gandhi, Tamil Nadu witnessed a massive human chain organised by the Tamil Nadu Platform for People’s Unity (TNPPU) opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). The human chain was conducted in 33 districts and more than 200 cities and towns across the state with massive participation. In Chennai, the human chain covered the length and breadth of the city.
The leaders and members of civil society organisations, activists, students and youths turned up to be part of the human chain. The leaders of the opposition parties supported the human chain and participated in large numbers.
The TNPPU had called for formation of a human chain against the three-pronged attack in the form of CAA, NRC and NPR by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre. The organisation has been at the forefront of organising protests including a signature campaign opposing the draconian amendment in the CAA and the withdrawal of NPR and NRC. Terming the move of the BJP government as divisive, K Arunan, the coordinator of the TNPPU, while speaking to NewsClick said, “The human chain was organised to oppose the CAA, NRC and NPR. These are being implemented to divert the people from the failures of the BJP government led by Narendra Modi. The move also undermines the Indian constitution which promises to provide citizenship irrespective of religion, caste, language, race or gender.”
“The NPR demands proof of the birth place of our parents to establish our citizenship. It is not possible for everyone to provide the proof. That is why we wish to insist that these acts are not only against the Muslims as perceived generally, but will adversely affect all sections of the people. The implementation of CAA, NRC and NPR will create turbulence among the socially and economically oppressed people,” Arunan added.
The TNPPU lauded the state government of Kerala for initiating a legal battle and passing a resolution against the implementation of CAA, NRC and NPR. The TNPPU has demanded that the state government take cue from four other states which had passed resolutions in their state Assemblies. “We are very much disappointed by the attitude of the Tamil Nadu government in the issue. The government here must immediately pass a resolution stating that these three acts won’t be implemented in the state,” Arunan said.
In Chennai, the chain extended from Tiruvotriyur in the Northern part to Tambaram in the Southern end. Senior journalist N Ram, former vice chancellor of Manormanium Sundaranar University Vasanthi Devi, Member of Parliament and leader of Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi Thol Thirumavalavan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary K Balakrishnan also took part in Chennai.
The TNPPU claimed that the human chain was attended by around 40 lakh people across the state and called for a sustained struggle against the implementation of CAA, NPR, and NRC.