The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tamil Nadu is trying hard to drive home the “advantages” of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Right-wing groups associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) argue that citizenship of no Indian Muslim will be lost—although in vain. But the newly included questions in the NPR forms are not helping the Sangh Parivar’s case.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, leaders of Right-wing groups continue to make provocative speeches targeting the Muslim community. A leader of a fringe group allegedly even ‘staged’ an attack and injured himself to create tension in Tiruppur district.
SELF-INFLICTION TO INCITE VIOLENCE
On the night of March 17, a Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) officebearer from Tiruppur got admitted to a hospital claiming that he was attacked by a gang of seven people. Fifty-year-old Nanda Gopal was reportedly returning home from his shop. When the district police enquired about the incident, they found that the “victim” had choreographed the attack. He reportedly staged the incident to gain recognition from among the party ranks and achieve stardom—at the cost of creating panic and tension between two religious groups. Tiruppur and Coimbatore districts were already tense following reports of hate speech and provocation.
In Coimbatore, ‘Kadeswara’ Subramaniam, the state president of the Hindu Munnani, claimed that even the police will not be able to control them if the anti CAA-protests were not stopped. He threatened the protesters with “severe consequences”. The protest was eventually called off, owing to the tension as well as the looming threat of COVID-19.
HATEMONGERING AT PRO-CAA RALLIES
The speakers at the pro-CAA rallies and meetings held across the state have been reported to have made provocative and hateful statements. Irked by the Shaheen Bagh-like protests, the leaders were seen giving ultimatum to the anti-CAA protesters. The BJP and other fringe Right-wing groups including the Hindu Munnani and HMK have taken out rallies, organised street corner meetings in support of the CAA, NPR and NRC—which have been filled with hate speeches, pseudo nationalistic claims and anti-minority chants. The participation in the rallies was very low in many districts; the organisers were reportedly forced to hire people, particularly in Chennai and Tiruvannamalai.
R Vaigai, senior advocate, while addressing a meeting organised by the Constitution Protection Forum, said, “Immediately after Independence, the Supreme court had said that India has one common citizenship and every Indian should be Indian irrespective of any other basis. The very essence of this judgement is being violated now”.
Further referring to the judgement after the dismissal of BJP state governments post Babri Masjid demolition, she said, “As per our Constitution, no party or organ can be simultaneously political and religious. If a party propagates or professes a religion and brings about, in any manner, adverse effect on any religion, it is an unconstitutional act and the party has no rights to function as a political party.”
The recent activities of the parivar organisations led by the BJP, guided by the RSS are essentially a threat to the constitution itself. The modus operandi remains the same across the states with hate speeches, fake data on status of minorities in neighbouring countries, etc.