Expressing dissent over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (CAB), Zakariya Mohammed, the maker of the national award winning movie Sudani from Nigeria, has announced that he will boycott the National Awards function. The movie has bagged the Best Malayalam Film award in the 2019 National Film Awards.
“Protesting against CAB and National Register of Citizens, I, as the director of Sudani from Nigeria, will stay away from the National Award ceremony along with scriptwriter Muhsin Parari and the producers of the film,” Zakariya Mohammed wrote on Facebook on Sunday. The movie which won wide appreciation and multiple awards, was the debut film of Zakariya. The movie is a tale of compassion and humanity told through the life of a local football coach, played by actor Soubin Shahir.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, cleared by the two Houses of Parliament and signed by the President, is now known as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The legislation which allows citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, who do not have required documents, does not include Muslims or Sri Lankan Tamils. Citizenship (Amendment) Act along with National Register of Citizens (NRC) which will soon be proposed by the BJP government has said to be an assault on the religious and ethinic minorities of the country, specifically Muslims. On the one hand, there is fear that this law along with a national NRC could be used to disenfranchise and target Muslims, especially poor Muslims. On the other hand, there are protests in some parts of the country including Assam against CAB for allowing any illegal migrants of any religion, citizenship in the country.
The ruling and opposition parties of Kerala have announced a joint protest against CAB. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayana and Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala will participate in the hunger strike that will be held at Thiruvananthapuram on Monday.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has also stated that CAB is an onslaught on the foundation of Indian Constitution and that the state government will not implement the law in the state.