Media professionals issue statement of solidarity amid anti-CAA protests, ask govt to 'refrain from attacking students'; full text

  • 164 media professionals and communicators issued a statement in firm solidarity with students and protesters across the country

  • The media professionals and communicators, in their joint statement, called the CAA and NRC an attack on the very soul of India and the legacy of the freedom movement"

  • The joint statement called upon the Government of India to review its decision and work for a strong, pluralistic and secular India

As simultaneous protests raged in multiple cities on Thursday with thousands-strong crowds of students, activists and others defying prohibitory orders to voice their dissent against the newly amended citizenship law, 164 media professionals and communicators issued a statement in firm solidarity with students and protesters across the country.

The media professionals and communicators, in their joint statement, called the CAA and NRC "an attack on the very soul of India and the legacy of the freedom movement". They added that students and others have a right to resist and "rise in defence of constitutional principles". The statement goes on to "explicitly condemn the violence unleashed on protesters" as well as "the hate and abuse unleashed by troll armies". The joint statement called upon the government to "immediately refrain from attacking students and other protesters peacefully resisting the CAA and NRC" and to review its decision and work for a strong, pluralistic and secular India.

Here is this full text of the statement:

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY AND PROTEST

We, the undersigned group of media professionals and communicators, jointly issue this statement in firm solidarity with students and protestors across the country — especially of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University — who were subjected to police excesses and brutality when they rose to protest the Citizenship Amendment Act (2019) and the imminent nation-wide National Register of Citizens, and register our protest at the CAA-NRC move of the Government of India.

We believe that the CAA-NRC violate the fundamental principles of our Constitution, indeed the very foundation of India which chose to be a secular state in 1947, and overturn the basis of citizenship in the country. Religion and ethnicity were consciously discarded as determinants of citizenship or rights of Indians while adopting the Constitution; it expressly disallows discrimination on these — and other — grounds. When the CAA-NRC is in full force, Muslims, several tribal communities and Indians without government-determined documents may not qualify as citizens. Indians would become non-Indians, made refugees in their own nation and forced into an uncertain future.

The CAA-NRC is an attack on the very soul of India, on the legacy of the freedom movement which was multi-religious and multi-cultural (today is the 92nd commemoration of the hanging of Ram Prasad Bismil, Ashfaqulla Khan and Roshan Singh for their anti-British activities), and on the inclusive and pluralistic ethos of post-independence years. The NRC exercise in Assam has revealed the terrible human cost, besides logistical nightmares and expenses, of dividing people by religion or ethnicity and linking citizenship to documents.

Students and others have a right to resist CAA-NRC and rise in defence of Constitutional principles. Those who protested and resisted did so — and continue to do so — on the basis of rights and responsibilities given to us in the Constitution. The right to dissent is an inalienable aspect of our rights as citizens. This is best encouraged among the young in our campuses. Instead, the police in Delhi and Aligarh brutally beat students, fired tear-gas shells, lathi-charged them and shot at them; the police in other places have clamped down on citizens’ right to assemble and protest by invoking Section 144 of the CrPC.

We explicitly condemn the violence unleashed on protestors during the course of these protests as well as the hate-abuse unleashed online by troll armies on social media platforms. We unequivocally condemn the few instances of violence that occurred during the protests which, prima facie, were not traced by the Delhi Police to the protesting students.

We call upon the Government to immediately refrain from attacking students and other protestors peacefully resisting the CAA-NRC across the country. We call upon the Government to desist from invoking Section 144 and allow Indians to exercise their constitutional right of assembly, freedom of expression and dissent. We call upon the Government to review its decision on CAA-NRC, focus on providing education-jobs-healthcare for all, and work for a strong, pluralistic, secular India.

Signed on December 19, 2019:

1) Aafreen Kidwai

2) Aakash Karkare

3) Aarti Dabas

4) Abhra Das

5) Aditi Mittal

6) Aditi Seshadri

7) Ain Haider

8) Ajay Norohna

9) Akanksha Bajpai

10) Akansha Negi

11) Alka Khandelwal

12) Aliya Khan

13) Amrita Rajput

14) Aneesha Henry

15) Aniketh Mendonca

16) Anila Nair

17) Anita Vasudeva

18) Anjali Awasthi

19) Anjali Singh

20) Ankita Maneck

21) Ankita Agarwal

22) Ankita Sorot

23) Antara Kashyap

24) Anubhuti Matta

25) Anuradha Nagar

26) Anushka Rovshen

27) Aparna Shukla

28) Apoorva Rao

29) Aquila Khan

30) Arshi Khan

31) Atul Kasare

32) Avehi Menon

33) Ayu Bhagat

34) Aziza Syed

35) Bhoomi Mistry

36) Brenna Ribeiro

37) Chandani Ahlawat Dabas

38) Chatura Rao

39) Dalreen Ramos

40) Darshana Jain

41) Deepika Khatri

42) Deepika Lal

43) Devika Bahl

44) Dhara Kanani

45) Dimple Sharma

46) Divya Rao

47) Faiza Ahmad Khan

48) Farah Gulamwaris Thakur

49) Farida Patharia

50) Farzeen Khan

51) Gauri Vij

52) Hansa Thapliyal

53) Himanshi Dhawan

54) Hitarth Desai

55) Inayat Sood

56) Jayati Vora

57) Jeroo Mulla

58) Jerry Pinto

59) Joeyta Bose

60) Jovita Aranha

61) Kajri Babbar

62) Kanika Rajani

63) Karen D’souza

64) Karuna Sharma

65) Kashish Juneja

66) Ketaki

67) Kirti Vij Makhijani

68) Krithi Sundar

69) Kruti Kothari

70) Kunjarani D’souza

71) Layal Ayoub

72) Lubaina Bandukwala

73) Madhuri Mohindar

74) Maheep Dhillon

75) Maleeva Rebello

76) Mamta Kalambe

77) Mayanka Goel

78) Meena Thaker Pillai

79) Megha Bhattacharya

80) Megha Subramanian

81) Mimansha

82) Minnie Vaid

83) Monica James

84) Monica Wahi

85) Mousufa Mukadam

86) Mugdha Singh

87) Mukta Dhond

88) Nancy Adjania

89) Nandini Ramnath

90) Nandini Shrikent

91) Natasha Trivedi

92) Navya Sahai Bhatnagar

93) Nayana Agrawal

94) Nilesh Correia

95) Niloufer Sagar

96) Nilofer

97) Nirmita Gupta

98) Nirmiti Kamat

99) Parth Vyas

100) Parul Rana

101) Pooja Raheja

102) Prarthana Uppal

103) Prateek Gautam

104) Prathamesh Kharatmal

105) Pria Somiah

106) Priyanka Arora

107) Purvi Malhotra

108) Radhika Makker

109) Ragini Khushwaha

110) Rajat Zamde

111) Rashmi Mehta

112) Reebu Tandon

113) Reena Rai

114) Reshmi Chakraborty

115) Riddhi Savla

116) Rucha Pathak

117) Rujuta Sabnis

118) Rupali Arte

119) Sakshi Sharma

120) Saloni Jain

121) Sameera Khan

122) Sanjukta Sharma

123) Sanyuktha Chawla Shaikh

124) Sapana Jaiswal

125) Sara Shaikh

126) Sarojini Pradhan

127) Savitri Medhatul

128) Shalini Singh

129) Sharanya Misra Sharma

130) Sheetal Jhaveri Mehta

131) Sheetal Mehta Karia

132) Shradha Sukumaran

133) Shraddha Agarwal

134) Shraddha Sharma

135) Shreya Khare

136) Shuchi Talati

137) Shyma Rajagopal

138) Siddhi Patel

139) Simran Dang

140) Smitha Menon

141) Smriti Jain

142) Smruti Koppikar

143) Sowjanya Kashyap

144) Srushti Iyer

145) Sruti Visweswaran

146) Stefanie Samuel

147) Sukanya Deb

148) Sukhada Tatke

149) Surekha S

150) Sunayana Sadarangani

151) Suryasarathi Bhattacharya

152) Swati Ali

153) Tejal Pandey

154) Tihany Sengupta

155) Trupti Kanade

156) Vedika Singhania

157) Vishnu Bagdawala

158) Vrushali Telang

159) Yakuta Poonawalla

160) Yashaswini Raghunandan

161) Zahra Gabuji

162) Zara Mann

163) Zulfia Waris

The full text has been reproduced and has not been edited by Firstpost for style and clarity

 

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Updated Date: Jan 14, 2020 13:23:09 IST