CAA PROTESTS… Anti-Modi forces gang up to target PM and undermine new citizenship law

Cops in Bengaluru taking away historian Ramachandra Guha from a protest scene in Bengaluru on Thursday.

NEW DELHI: A broad anti-BJP, anti-Modi front is taking control of the ongoing protests against the Citizenship law amendment, with known-Modi baiters like historian Ramachandra Guha, CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banejree lending their voice to the nation-wide action programme.

Guha, who is currently settled in Bengaluru after the air in Delhi became difficult for him to breathe after Modi came to power, was among several people detained by police in the southern city on Thursday for their participation in the protest. Yechury was detained briefly in Delhi and let off. Mamata Banerjee led a huge protest in Kolkata against the two initiatives of the Modi government – the Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Parliament and given nod by President Ram Nath Kovind a week ago; and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise which will be made a nationwide survey after its initial go in Assam.

NRC, done in Assam under Supreme Court supervision, resulted in the detection of nearly 20 lakh illegal settlers, mostly from neighbouring Bangladesh, who came in as refugees during and after a 1970s civil strife against Pakistani-domination of what is now Bangladesh. Among them are some five lakh Hindus, whom the BJP government would like to turn into citizens. A similar scenario exists in West Bengal state too, but the NRC exercise has not been done there. Home Minister Amit Shah is set to start such an exercise in West Bengal as also several other states where migrants/refugees from Bangladesh have come and set up homes. Those in West Bengal are the vote banks of  Trinamool Congress led by Banerjee, just as they were vote banks of the CPIM when it ruled the state.

Ramachandra Guha and Yechury are sworn political enemies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, though both have no ground support worth mention and are paper tigers given prominence by the English media. Both seek to promote elitism under various other pretexts. Mamata Banerjee has, for quite some time, been an aspirant for the PM post. In other words, when a chief minister like Modi became PM, Banerjee also thought she could fish in troubled waters and emerge as PM choice for the Opposition. The victory of Modi in 2014 was followed by a similar, large-scale victory for him and the pro-Hindu BJP in the next parliamentary polls in 2019; which poured cold water of Banerjee’s hopes.
The anti-Modi forces were in the wilderness for some time. They got a new fig leaf in the form of the NRC and the CAA, and the likes of Yechury and Banerjee are trying to play the “savior” game with the Muslim population, who form about 15 per cent of the wider Indian population. 

Modi is anathema to the Muslims mainly because of the Gujarat Riots of 2002, when large-scale killings took place direct under the watch of Modi’s police. The cops allegedly looked the other way and avoided acting in firm manners. Modi too allegedly did not do enough to check the riots, as these were a retaliation to the attack by a Muslim mob on a train carrying Kar Sevaks (volunteers) who were returning from Ayodhya, where they went to do work for construction of a Hindu temple in the name of Lord Rama, but could not.

Yechury, who heads the CPIM as its general secretary and taken the party to cleaners in the past over five years of his stewardship, is also seen as a front for the Nehru family, or the Congress leadership, and progressively losing his identity as a leader in his own right. The party is also taking major hits under his leadership, as Yechury himself does not have a mass base. 

Hailing from the Telugu region in the South and having had his education in Chennai and Delhi (JNU), he spent much of his post-education life in Delhi. There is virtually no CPIM or CPI in Delhi, also for the reason that the Communist leaders made little effort to go down to the masses. Instead, they keep playing games like the participation in the present protests, and win media attention. IHN-NN


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