Kothamangalam/Muvattupuzha: The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is the BJP's first step to bring in the Hindu rashtra, human rights activist and noted lawyer Indira Jaising said on Saturday.
“This is the first law enacted in this secular country based on religion alone. It's the first attempt to bring in the Hindu rashtra that's why we are opposing it,” she said.
She made the statements during the concluding meet of a secular march held from Muvattupuzha to Kothamangalam in Kerala's Ernakulam district on Saturday. The rally, which turned out to be a demonstration of Kerala's religious amity, was organised by the All India Professionals' Congress (AIPC).
Jaising termed the protests against the CAA the second independence movement. “This movement is led by you and me. We are all leaders today. We all embody the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi today. We are fighting the second independence movement. We are fighting for the soul of India. We have been presented with a historic opportunity. It's a call for action and the youth of this country have listened,” she said.
“I was a person whose family migrated from Pakistan to India. We were a family which chose to live in a secular country,” she added.
She said the proposed National Registry of Citizenship would lead to a “surveillance state.” “It will be possible to be targeted on the basis of our religion," she said.
AIPC Kerala president Mathew Kuzhalnadan chaired the meet. “We won't allow any force to weaken the secular fabric of this country. This is the land of Mahatma Gandhi. No matter whatever challenge we have to face, the students and the youth of this country will save its secularism,” he said.
Muslim Youth League president Munavarali Shihab Thangal inaugurated the concluding meet. Former MP and CPM leader M B Rajesh, AICC secretary Krishnan Sreenivasan, V T Balram MLA, Youth League general secretary P K Firoze, Muslim League district president K M Abdul Majeed, P K Moidu, R Anil Kumar, Rajan George, and Taufiq Maulavi also spoke at the meet. AIPC's Vinu George delivered the vote of thanks.
Hundreds took part in the meet
Hundreds of people, including priests, sanyasis, and Muslim religious leaders, took part in the secular march.
KPCC spokesperson Joseph Vazhackan flagged off the march in front of the Muvattupuzha Central Juma Masjid. The march was led by Mathew Kuzhalnadan, V T Balram, and P K Firoze.
Panakkad Munavarali Shihab Thangal joined the march as it reached near the Karukadom Sree Krishna Temple. The march concluded at the Marthoma Church in Kothamangalam.
Muslims pray at Church courtyard
Arrangements for the Maghrib prayer (one after sunset) were made at the courtyard of the Marthoma Church for the Muslims who took part in the march.
The noble gesture sent out the message that attire, religion or custom cannot divide the people of India.
By the time the march reached Kothamangalam, it was time for the Maghrib prayers. Then Mathew Kuzhalnadan spoke with the church authorities, who readily made arrangements at the premises.
Panakkad Munavarali Shihab Thangal led the prayers. During this time, Elias Mar Yulios and Fr Jose Paruthiveli led the evening prayers inside the church.