Thursday, May 6, 2021

‘Kerala upholding Constitution’: Kerala CM on legal challenge to CAA

Mumbai, February 2: Terming the questions being raised on the legality of the Kerala government’s legislative and legal challenge to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) an orchestrated campaign, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said that not only is his government’s move Constitutionally valid but that other state governments too, taking a cue from Kerala, have rejected the CAA and called for its repeal. After Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan and West Bengal also passed resolutions to scrap CAA
Delivering a special address on the ‘National Struggle Against Communalism’ at the Mumbai Collective, Vijayan called for protests against the CAA to continue in multiple realms, including state legislature resolutions, in court and through peaceful agitations. While the freedom struggle immortalised the first half of the 20th Century in India, “in these early years of the 21st century, it will be our national struggle against communalism that would define us and our history,” the Kerala chief minister said.
Seeking to counter the “disinformation campaigns” regarding the Kerala Legislative Assembly’s resolution against the CAA, his government’s litigation in the apex court, Vijayan said the state ministers’ oath as prescribed by the Constitution mandates them to uphold its values. “That is precisely what the government of Kerala is doing right now,” he said.
Its suit in the SC is under Article 131 of the Constitution that gives the apex court original jurisdiction in any dispute between the Union and state governments on legal rights or their existence or extent. The Kerala government’s plea before the SC seeks that the CAA be declared violative of Articles 14, 21 and 25 — equality before the law, protection of life and personal liberty, and freedom to profess and practice any religion.
The CAA has imperiled the nation’s Constitutional values and must be rejected, Vijayan said, on three grounds: It is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution; it is divisive and discriminatory; and “seeks to impose the politics and philosophy of Hindutva, with its vision of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ on our entire people and on the basic structure of our polity”.
Quoting two sentences from Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar’s book ‘We, Our Nation Defined’, Vijayan contended that underlying the CAA is the Sangh Parivar’s ultimate goal of a Hindu Rashtra. “In the past our movement was against the colonisers. In the present our struggle against communalism is a movement against those who stood with the colonisers,” he said, referring to a section of the book pertaining to a “lesson” for India from Germany’s anti-semitic attempt in that period.
Vijayan also saluted the student community and young Indians undertaking peaceful protests across the country. “India’s young citizens have come together to reject the attempt to polarise our people on communal lines,” he said. (Courtesy: IE)