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CAA, NPR will trigger hatred, corruption: Ex-IAS officer Kannan Gopinathan slams Modi government

JAIPUR: Bureaucrat-turned-activist Kannan Gopinathan on Wednesday slammed the ‘combination’ and the ‘chronology’ of the CAA, NPR and NRC, saying their implementation will contribute to corruption and hatred in the country.

“The CAA, NPR and NRC are exercises of hatred, exercises of corruption,” he told reporters here.

The farther the process continues, the more hatred it will create, he added.

Gopinathan quit the IAS last year, saying the people of Jammu and Kashmir were being denied freedom of expression after the abrogation of the special status for the state under Article 370.

On Wednesday, he claimed that there has been no substantial change in the situation in J&K.

“The CAA is against constitutional and secular values and, therefore, the people are opposing it,” he said, criticising the amended citizenship law.

He also criticised the planned implementation of the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“The NPR and the NRC are document-based exercises which are against the poor, tribals and women, and will also encourage corruption,” he said.

“The people have understood the combination of CAA, NPR and NRC and the chronology of implementing the decisions.”

The former bureaucrat suggested that “a section of the people” may be helped by the CAA while others could be termed “intruders” if they do not produce the required documents during the NPR and NRC exercises.

The CAA fast-tracks citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christians, Parsis and Buddhists who entered the country before 2015 from three neighbouring countries following religious prosecution.

Muslims don’t figure in the list.

Gopinathan said the people and different state governments have indicated their opposition to the CAA, NPR and NRC, and it is now for the Centre to take a call on the issue.

He questioned the reasoning behind choosing only three neighbouring countries — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan — and making religion the basis for granting citizenship, which he said was against constitutional values.

Gopinathan said people who question the government are being targeted and given “tags”.

“If an urban intellectual raises a question, he is called an urban naxal. Students are called `tukde tukde gang’. If he is a Muslim, he is termed a terrorist. If poor, he is called a Maoist and if a Hindu poses a question, he is called anti-national,” he said.

He said the Centre took the decision on Article 370 without any consultation with the Kashmiri people and deprived them of their freedom of expression.

“There was an awful silence over the issue and therefore I decided to quit. We should have stood by the Kashmiri people,” he said.

Gopinathan said the country’s economy suffered at a time when the government is focusing on issues which spread hatred and violence.

He said nothing has changed substantially in J&K after the government’s decision on Article 370, and compared the situation with that in “Sudan or Syria”.

“Leaders are in jail without being charged. Even habeas corpus petitions are not being listed,” he alleged.

He said instead of accepting his resignation, the government issued him a memo which said that by talking to the media he had created an adverse image of the country and the government.

He claimed that the government wants to dismiss him instead of accepting his resignation.

Later, Gopinathan attended an event organised by civil rights organisation PUCL against the CAA.

In his tweets earlier, the ex-bureaucrat has accused the Uttar Pradesh government of stopping him from attending similar programmes in that state.