At least 70 lakh people are expected to join the protest, making it one of the biggest mass movements in the country, LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan told TNM.

On Republic Day a 620-km human chain against CAA to be organised by LDF in Kerala
news CAA Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 17:08

As India celebrates its 71st Republic Day on Sunday, Kerala is set to witness a unique protest in the form of a statewide human chain demanding withdrawal of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The anti-CAA human chain is organised by the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala and will be 620-kilometres long, covering the entire length of the state. It will stretch from Kasaragod town square in the north to the state’s southernmost tip of Kaliyakkavila near Coimbatore.

“We have organised close to 37,000 meetings to invite people to participate in the protest. These meetings have been attended by 35 lakh people. We are expecting a minimum of 70 lakh people from all walks of life to join the protest tomorrow. This kind of participation could make this human chain one of the largest mass movements India has witnessed,” LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan told TNM. 

The human chain is led by CM Pinarayi Vijayan who has been at the forefront of Kerala’s fight against the BJP-ruled Centre’s plan to implement CAA and NRC.

“This is just a continuation of what he has been doing. The chief minister convened an all-party meeting on the CAA, then held an all-party dharna against the act. The government then passed a resolution in the Kerala assembly against the CAA and finally moved the Supreme Court with a petition arguing that the act was unconstitutional,” Vijayaraghavan added.

In the 620 km human chain against the CAA, Communist leader S Ramachandran Pillai will become the first link and protest from Kasaragod, while MA  Baby will be the last link - standing in Kaliyakkavila, according to Vijayaraghavan.

“We have invited prominent personalities from all walks of life - writers, artists, Kathakali dancers, musicians and others. We hope that they will join the chain tomorrow,” he added.

The ruling LDF has also released several posters of the Human Chain protest on Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, inviting people to participate.

A 2 minute 20 second ad too was put out by the CPI(M), on how the CAA and NRC requires one to furnish documents to prove his/her citizenship. The ad ends with Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asserting that CAA will not be implemented in the state and that all works related to the National Population Register (NPR) - whose data will be taken for NRC - have been stopped.

However, several users have criticised the ad for demonising government officials by showing an official demand for documents from a family to prove their citizenship. Some users even pointed out that this ad was confusing and contradicted the CM’s stance that NPR and CAA will not be implemented in the state, by showing an official implement it.