Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan was speaking in Delhi in an apparent reference to the Shaheen Bagh protesters.

Forcing opinion on others by disrupting normal life a form of terrorism Kerala GuvPTI / File image
news News Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 07:32

In an apparent reference to the Shaheen Bagh protesters, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Friday said forcing opinion on others by disrupting normal life is a form of terrorism.

"Aggression does not come in the form of violence only. It comes in many forms.... If you will not listen to me, I will disrupt normal life," he said at the "Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad" in New Delhi.

"Dissent is the essence of democracy. There is no problem with that...but five people sit outside the Vigyan Bhawan and say we shall not move from here unless this parliament of students adopts a resolution which we would like them to adopt-- that is another form of terrorism," Khan said.

Since Parliament passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in December last year, a number of protests have taken place across the country, including the one at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital, against the contentious law and a proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

On Monday, the Supreme Court observed that the blockade of road at Shaheen Bagh was "troubling" and suggested that the protesters go to another site, where no public place would be blocked.

The top court, however, upheld their right to protest.

Referring to anti-CAA protesters reading the Preamble of the Constitution across the country, Khan said, "Honestly, I am very happy that people have started reading the Preamble of the Constitution. What does the Preamble say? It talks of liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship.

"Do not confuse things. Do not try to impose your thoughts in the name of (freedom of speech and) expression on to others." 

Acknowledging that one had every right to express how one felt about a subject, he said, "Everyone of us must respect that right. But will you say that I shall disrupt normal life?" 

Even the term "dharma", although most of the times used to mean religion, actually meant duties, Khan asserted, adding, "Before you claim rights, do your duties. When you claim a right, then respect the similar right of others as well." 

On the issue of the Centre abrogating Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcating the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories, Khan said, "There is nothing left in Article 370. Just read about it a little. But when the house gets empty and there is no one to live in it, many ghosts wander in that house. This is how the ghost of terrorism has come in.

"Article 370 has been abrogated. I do not want to make any big claims from here. But the way things are getting normal (in Kashmir), I do not have an iota of doubt that we will be able to finish off terrorism to a large extent."

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