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'Unacceptable in Land of Gandhi, Tagore': After Arrest of Students, BHU Professors Campaign Against CAA

In the letter, the professors expressed their anguish over the current situation in the country and said that the Citizenship Act and the proposed implementation of the National Citizenship Register is an attempt to divide the society along communal lines.

Eram Agha | News18.comEramAgha

Updated:December 26, 2019, 4:35 PM IST
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'Unacceptable in Land of Gandhi, Tagore': After Arrest of Students, BHU Professors Campaign Against CAA
Heavy police personnel deployed at Banaras Hindu University where students were holding a protest in Varanasi in September last year (File photo: PTI)

New Delhi: Fifty-one professors of the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) carried out a signature drive on Wednesday against the National Register of Citizen (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In their letter, the professors criticised the newly-passed legislation that gives citizenship on the basis of religion.

The protests in BHU started on December 19 after several students were arrested for participating in a protest, called by a Left organisation, against the citizenship law. They were charged under sections related to rioting.

Professors of BHU, Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), and other affiliated institutes expressed their anguish at the current situation. “We the undersigned are deeply pained and aghast at the recent Citizenship Amendment Act that was passed by the Parliament of India and the declaration that it will be followed up by the implementation of the National Citizenship Register,” the letter reads.

“This is not acceptable in the land of Gandhi and Tagore. This is clearly an attempt to divide society along communal lines so that real issues of day-to-day living of common man are relegated to the background,” it adds.

The professors said it is “unacceptable” that a “modern nation-state that claims to be the torchbearer of progressive value” has “resorted to such a retrogressive and ill-informed policy devoid of historical and social understanding”.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, “is against Indian tradition of inclusiveness as advocated by the Indian philosophy. It is shameful to note that politics has brought such glorious traditions of inclusiveness to a point that our own brethren are de-citizenized in their own country. We request the government of India to rethink about the long term implications of this Act and hope national interest would prevail over partisan politics. We also urge the protestors not to indulge in violence and express their disagreement through peaceful and democratic means”.

Condemning the attack on students by the police, the teachers said, “We also condemn police brutalities on students in many universities like Jamia Millia Islamia.”

Meanwhile, Rajat Singh, a BHU student who had refused to accept his Masters (History of Arts) degree at the recent convocation, said, "This is the first time I am seeing the teachers of BHU protesting against the government policy. The CAA-NRC protests by teachers is a very good move. The students are fighting against the false arrest of the students for protesting, we will try to see how teachers and students can come together to fight the atrocities on students and the CAA-NRC."

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