Former parliamentarians Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Suresh Mehta, former CM of Gujarat, announced a nationwide anti CAA NPR NRC Yatra last Saturday at Mumbai’s Press Club. Around 50 media personalities were present for this press meet.
The Gandhi Shanti Yatra will begin at Mumbai’s Gateway of India on January 9, signifying the place and the day when Gandhiji returned to India from South Africa. This yatra will conclude at Raj Ghat, Delhi, on January 30 at 11 am, the day Gandhiji was shot. The yatra will cover important cities like Pune, Nashik, Sabarmati, Porbandar, Surat, Jaipur, Udaipur, certain parts of UP and Haryana and will culminate at Raj Ghat.
Sinha blamed the government for disturbing peace all over India. He said, “We are not against the government, neither against the Constitution. We are against government policies, which discriminate against people based on religion”. Further, he said that this yatra commemorates the life and message of Mahatma Gandhi and is meant to appeal for peace and harmony throughout India.
Sinha also stated that the 21 days yatra will not only create awareness among the people but also make a demand to the President in his inaugural address to the coming Parliament session to announce the repeal of CAA and the non-implementation of NPR – NRC.
Shatrughan Sinha pointed out the dichotomy of allowing persecuted minorities from neigbouring countries but keeping Muslims out. According to him, this shows the plan to distract attention from the issues that our country is facing.
The former chief minister of Gujarat, Suresh Mehta appealed to people and organisations from Gujarat to take the lead in making this Yatra successful.
Recalling the police crackdown in UP, Yashwat Sinha called it ‘state-sponsored terrorism’. He said that the yatra is specifically going to UP to protest police high-handedness. ‘We are not scared, we will see’, he said. Quoting the great poet Ram Prasad Bismil, he said, ‘Dekhna hai zor kitna bazuye kaatil mein hai’.
Sinha also appealed to other organisations and individuals to take out similar yatras from North East, from Kashmir, from South India and East India to join hands and to stand for and by the Constitution and gather in large number at Raj Ghat on January 30 at 11.00 am.
Kunal Hariani adds
The rally titled “Gandhi Shanti Yatra” will traverse through places which are related to Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
The Apollo Bunder is the place where Gandhiji reached India from South Africa on January 9, 1915 of January”, he said.
Then they will start for Pune to reach at Aga Khan Palace where, he said, they will conduct a prayer meeting. “This is the place where he was imprisoned during freedom struggle.”
It will also stop at Sabarmati and Porbandar. Both places are also related to Mahatma Gandhi’s life.
He requested people from different parts of the country to hold a similar procession and converge at Rajghat at the same date. “We are hopeful that people will respond,” he said.
They will also request the government and the protesters to avoid violence which has been an issue since the bill was passed in the parliament. “Our message for both the government and the people is peace and our mission is to restore it,” said Mr. Yashwant Sinha, one of the organisers of the event.
Krystelle D’Souza adds
Agitations, protests and press conferences against the Citizenship Amendment Act, passed on December 12, continue to be held in Mumbai and are evoking mass response.
“We are not against the Government, but rather against its ideologies. BJP has humiliated a whole community and we will not sit still through every amendment that is forced upon us,” said former actor Shatrughan Sinha. He was speaking at the Press Club at a press conference last Saturday, also attended by Yashwant Sinha and former Gujarat CM Suresh Mehta.
“January 30 is the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. We are following in his footsteps, by way of a peaceful yatra. Keeping with our democratic principles, we will not resort to any forms of violence in order to achieve our motto. The Gandhian ways will be practised throughout this journey,” Yashwant Sinha added.”
He also highlighted the support of the youth in this fight against the CAA who have converged with older generation to fight against the erosion of fundamental rights.
Written by Laveena D’Souza with inputs from Kunal Hariani & Krystelle D’Souza
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