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BJP must stop seeing Pakistan where it doesn’t exist: English daily

The onus is on the government to impress the protesters that it is serious about holding a dialogue

Tuesday February 4, 2020 7:51 AM, ummid.com News Network

Shaheen Bagh

[The Jamia Millia student who was injured in the shooting incident near the anti-CAA protest venue.]

New Delhi: Questioning BJP's attitude towards the people who are protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR), a leading daily Monday while welcoming the government's offer to talk with Shaheen Bagh protseters asked the leaders of the ruling party to tone down their rhetoric.

"Centre’s offer to talk to protesters is welcome, but for it to carry weight, BJP must stop seeing Pakistan where it doesn’t exist", Indian Express wrote in its editorial.

Referring to Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s tweet saying that the Centre is ready to talk to protesters in Shaheen Bagh, the daily said, "It is a mere tweet and it is not known what its implications are but in these goli-maaro times, it brings some assurance."

"The onus is on the government to impress the protesters that it is serious about holding a dialogue to assuage their fears over the new citizenship law that excludes Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh", it said.

"That’s not easy. Party leaders, including people holding high public office, have been extremely hostile to the Shaheen Bagh protesters — they have been consistently trying to frame the agitation using the binary of “us” and “them”, us being nationalists and them being anti-nationals", the daily said.

"It’s time the party leadership starts viewing the protesters as part of us, the nation and its people, and recognise the peaceful protest as a legitimate expression of democratic dissent", the daily said.

"The demonisation of the protesters as anti-nationals by the BJP leadership, presumably with the intent to polarise Delhi voters ahead of the February 8 assembly elections, has triggered extreme reaction from the party’s own cadres", the daily said while referring the provocative and charged speeches made by UP Chief Minister Adityanath, Union Minister Anurag Thakur and party MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma that actually led to three shooting incidents at the protesters in the last four days.

"The first step to calm tempers and prepare the ground for a dialogue in Shaheen Bagh is to get the BJP leaders to tone down their rhetoric and stop the vilification of protesters. The BJP has the right to criticise the anti-CAA protests, of course, and even make it an election issue. But the party should show the political maturity to desist from using it as an instrument to polarise society and instigate violence for votes", the daily said.

People, majority of them being Muslim women, are protesting at Shaheen Bagh since last 51 days. Interestingly, in a strong show of maturity in the charged atmosphere, in a touching response to the BJP's provocation and intimidation they came out with a slogan "Desh ke in pyaro par, phool barsao saro par".

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