Tharoor throws his weight behind anti-CAA protests

Tharoor throws his weight behind anti-CAA protests

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor addresses during a protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, at Shaheen Bagh in New Delhi. (Credit: PTI)

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Sunday threw his weight behind the ongoing protests against the citizenship amendment Act (CAA) outside Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university and Shaheen Bagh, and protest against hostel fee hike in the JNU.

Addressing hundreds of protestors outside the JMI, he extended his support to them and said the Modi government has insulted the 'ganga-jamuni tehjeeb' (poetic Awadhi phrase for a distinctive, syncretic Hindu-Muslim culture) by bringing “discriminatory” CAA.

“This is a discriminatory effort by the government to marginalise one community in India. This is not something that we can accept. It is not mine or yours, this Hindustan belongs to all of us. I have come here to tell you that I stand in your support,” the Congress leader said.

He lauded students for spearheading the movement against CAA and the national register of citizens (NRC), saying they have emerged as an inspiration to “every democrat” in the country.

“You are the hope for this country. The CAA is a betrayal to the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, who sacrificed his life for the unity of the nation; to the unity of Hindu and Muslim. India, which Mahatma Gandhi wanted to see, will not be India after the introduction of religion in the CAA,” he said.

He described the recent police crackdown on Jamia students as “a blot on the nation”, noting that police entered hostels and attacked women students without any provocation and prior intimation to the JMI vice-chancellor on December 5, 2019.

He exhorted people to remain united and continue the movement. “We must not let this fire, spirit and unity die out. Stay together, succeed together, live together.”

Tharoor, who also joined protests against CAA later visiting Shaheen Bagh and addressed the agitators, is the first prominent Congress leaders to have visited the agitating campuses in the national capital

He later took a metro train to reach Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) to express solidarity with the protesting students in the campus.

“It was overdue. @INCIndia stands with the students.@INCDelhi President @SchopraINC has been to both campuses & ShaheenBagh too — & he is with me on these visits today,” he tweeted.

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