Modi Govt Using Brute Force to Suppress Dissent: Sonia Gandhi

Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressing people at the Bharat Bachao Rally or “Save India Rally” in India’s capital New Delhi on December 14, 2019. Photo: Congress
Congress president Sonia Gandhi addressing people at the Bharat Bachao Rally or “Save India Rally” in India’s capital New Delhi on December 14, 2019. Photo: Congress

People across India have been protesting for the past few days against a couple of new citizenship laws announced by the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has extended her party’s support to the people who have been protesting against PM Narendra Modi’s dictatorial policies.

As the government-backed security forces are using force against the peaceful protesters, Sonia Gandhi has promised to safeguard the people’s rights. “In a democracy people have the right to raise their voice against wrong decisions and policies of the government and register their concerns. BJP (Modi) government has shown utter disregard for people’s voices and chosen to use brute force to suppress dissent,” Sonia Gandhi said in a video message.

People across India have been protesting for the past few days against a couple of new citizenship laws announced by the Modi government. With the introduction of Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA 2019 and National Register of Citizens (NRC), all the 1.3 billion residents of India will have to prove their citizenship by taking new documents from the government agencies.

While people will have to stand in long queues to apply for new citizenship documents, it will cause an utter administrative chaos in the country. The redundant bureaucratic exercise will also result in huge corruption. In some areas like Assam where NRC has been tried in the past few months, it is learnt that each person had to bribe the officials with Rs. 2,000 to Rs. 5,000 to get the papers most of which are fake.

“Congress strongly oppose the CAA as well as NRC, as these new laws will hurt the poor and vulnerable people of India,” Sonia Gandhi said in her message.

Earlier, with his despotic demonetization decision announced on November 8, 2016, Modi had abruptly demonetized currency notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000. As a result, the banks refused to pay people’s own money that they had deposited in banks. People had to stand in queues in front of the banks to withdraw their money while demonetization was a flawed exercise.

Similarly, now people will have to stand in queues and bribe the bureaucrats to procure their new citizenship papers. Although a large number of people have voter cards, bank passbooks, passports, and other such identity documents, the new NRC law will ignore those documents and force citizens to obtain new prescribed papers.

At present nationwide protests are happening against CAA and NRC in India. However, after a couple of days, these protests will disappear and the Modi government will impose the new laws. As people do not have perseverance, all protests have very short life.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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Rakesh Raman