Ex IAS Officer Gopinathan to Head Protest Against NRC and Citizenship Bill

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Activists of the Hindu Yuba-Chattra Parishad burn copies of NRC list, in Guwahati on August 31, 2019. — PTI

Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI — A civil rights group has announced a Gandhian non-cooperation movement against the nationwide NRC and the citizenship bill – the latter having a provision to grant citizenship to refugees belonging to all communities except Muslims.

Former IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan, who recently resigned from the elite bureaucracy in a protest against the Kashmir lockdown, is among the leading voices taking a strong stand against the NRC and the Citizenship bill.

Commenting on Shah’s statement, he said he will do whatever possible to block the NRC exercise. “Let me tell you HM @AmitShah that there won’t be a nationwide NRC in India. Ever! Your efforts to make citizens feel insecure about their own citizenship will not be allowed by this country,” he tweeted alongside a report on Shah’s statement.

The tweet has angered BJP activists, who went on to dub him a traitor and supporter of terrorism. Gopinathan also replied to the objections raised by twitter users. A day later, he made another tweet on the NRC, reminding the people of the past decisions like Demonetization by the Modi-led BJP government which inflicted harm and losses on the country.

“Should black money be eliminated?

‘Yes’ you screamed

Came Demon & you realised your mother’s savings was the black money!

Should illegal immigrants be thrown out?

‘Yes’, you shout again

Comes NRC, & you will realise you are the illegal immigrant for lack of all documents!”

This is how he described the adverse impact of the NRC and demonetization on the people. He also promised to oppose the nationwide NRC by not submitting his documents if the exercise is conducted across the country. He re-tweeted a video clip of his speech in which he can be seen taking this promise.

In the speech, he said the people who shift from one village to another does not carry any documents related to their earlier residence. “If the citizenship is decided on the basis of such documents, half of Indians will lose the citizenship. If the land acquisition bill 2014 can be rolled back on the protest of the farmers, the NRC can also be taken back if we protest. We want to tell the government that even if you have 544 seats, a communal bill like the Citizenship Act and NRC can’t be enforced in this country.”

“If the NRC exercise is conducted across the country and a situation of submitting documents comes, I promise you that I will not submit my documents. If we have to go to the detention centre, we will go together,” he said, drawing much applause.

Kannan shared his photo of boarding a train, saying he is going to Odisha to attend some event on the NRC and the CAB. The caption of the photo reads: “Next destination #Odisha #NoToNRC #NoToCAB”. He shared the editorials of The Times of India and The Tribune which criticised the nationwide NRC. “It would be a perilous and chaotic course to conduct the exercise on a pan-India scale without addressing the issues… it would only be inflicting yet another disruption on the country’s hapless residents,” he quoted from the Tribune editorial.

The ex-bureaucrat again targeted Amit Shah for his plan to carry out a repeat of the NRC exercise in Assam, and asked how much it would cost the exchequer. “So @amitshah says Assam NRC list is junked and a fresh NRC would be done along with a nationwide NRC. That means no NRC in Assam also. Question is, who will pay ~₹1500 crore spent on Assam NRC? It was a Supreme Court-monitored project, no? So, shall we deduct from Gogoi’s pension,” he asked.

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