The DMK Youth Wing on Friday staged protests across the state a day after the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act was notified following the President’s assent late on Thursday.
DMK Youth Wing Secretary Udhayanidhi Stalin held protests in Chennai’s Saidapet against the Act which guarantees a path to citizenship for persecuted minorities including Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Act, however, excludes Muslims, thus making religion a basis for citizenship.
Hundreds of DMK youth wing cadres participated with Udhayanidhi Stalin tearing up a copy of the Act.Udhayanidhi along with other protestors were later taken into preventive detention by the Chennai police.
Apart from the youth wing protests, students from New College in Chennai also staged a protest against the Act. Protesting students chanted “don’t separate, don’t separate” and asked for banning the Bill.
Friday’s protests by the DMK were directed against the Centre as well as the ruling AIADMK government in Tamil Nadu which supported the Bill. The DMK, which had voted against the Bill in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, has called the AIADMK’s support of the Bill a ‘betrayal’, especially since it excludes Lankan Tamils.
The party has also planned to launch a massive protest against the state’s government’s support for the Bill on December 17.
Soon after the passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, DMK chief MK Stalin stated, “It is unconstitutional to link citizenship with religion. #CAB2019 is a direct assault on secularism, equality and fraternity - principles which are essential to any democracy. AIADMK once again stands completely exposed for its decision to support this immoral legislation.”
He also added that a massive district-wise protest will be held on December 17, “condemning the anti-Tamil AIADMK government’s support to the anti-minority, anti-Tamil BJP government at the Centre.”
He also added that the Bill would not have passed without the support of the 11 AIADMK MPs in the Rajya Sabha.