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Madhya Pradesh Dalit-Adivasi meet seeks anti-CAA resolution from state assembly

By Our Representative
Thousands of Adivasis, Dalits, farmers and other common citizens gathered in Barwani district to protest against National Population Register (NPR), National Citizen Register (NRC) and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) under the banner 'Save the Constitution Jan Andolan', raising the demand from the Madhya Pradesh government to pass a resolution in the Legislative Assembly regarding not implementing NPR in the state.
Organised by the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan (JADS), Madhya Pradesh, they felt that poor and common citizens will be harassed by NRC and the religion-based discrimination of CAA. Other organizations which coordinated the protest included the Adivasi Mukti Sangathan, Adivasi Vidyarthi Sangathan, Bhim Army, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), and the Century Mill Sangharsh Samiti.
Addressing the gathering, well-known academic and Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav said, "The Prime Minister says that those who oppose can be identified by their clothes. I wish he could have seen this historic gathering, the clothes of the young, the tribal women, how everyone is here today."
"But alas", Yadav said, "The Prime Minister only sees cap and hijab. I wish he had seen another cloth, that of tricolor, too. " Regarding the NPR and NRC, he added, "One must remember Gandhiji's non-cooperation movement, and consider boycotting the NPR process. Babasaheb Ambdkar's Constitution is on our side."
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Harsh Mander, who had served as sub-divisional officer at Barwani, shared the experience of his visit to detention centres in Assam, saying, the NRC process in that state declared 14 lakh Hindus, including Adivasis, foreigners, and the only reason was, they couldn't prove their Indianness by producing relevant papers.
"Today in Barwani, we have proved that we are still the children of Gandhi and not of Godse, and we will stand in defence of the Constitution", Mander added.
NBA leader Medha Patkar said, "When they come to ask for votes, they do not ask for any papers", adding, "Today Assam is burning, it is firmly opposed to NRC and CAA, which are dividing the country on the basis of religion, which is unacceptable."
Nasri Bai of JADS wondered, “Why do we not pay attention to our basic rights and needs like health, education, employment, agrarian crisis and development? The general public is well aware of the problems faced by tem because of government papers like caste certificate, ration card, aadhaar."
Pointing out that "proving citizenship will add to our woes", she added, "Showing more papers is not acceptable to us. We will not show them!"

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