With the central government denying three states’ – Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra – tableaux proposals for Republic Day, politics has reached a new low. There is no doubt that the current struggles against the CAA/NRC and the confrontational stance of the Centre with these governments has a lot to do with this denial. The following is a petition that was started by Not in My Name Bangalore but it is a broad appeal to all chief ministers, minister and legislators, to boycott this farcical celebration of the Republic while destroying its very spirit.
Dear Chief Ministers, Ministers and Legislators,
We, citizens of India, have watched with horror and no little terror the political developments since 2014, and especially since the elections of 2019. There has been a steady attack on, and erosion of, our constitutional rights in this time.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in conjunction with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and its precursor, the National Population Register (NPR), is a big blow to the Constitution of India. It is as disastrous and it is unconstitutional, and officially rings in the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra.
There has been staunch resistance to the CAA, most powerfully from student communities across the country. We wholeheartedly support them, in our words and on the streets. What was equally heartening was the pushback from the political establishment in a number of states – in varying degrees, it is true, but still truly a cause for hope.
We now call on you to truly put pressure on the Central government with a big and visible gesture: boycott the Republic Day Parade in Delhi on 26 January 2020. Demand that the Government of India does the right thing by the Constitution of India. A showcase of India’s considerable strength and of the diversity of our cultural and social heritage will be in particularly poor taste as India battles the unconstitutional CAA. If your state does not take part in the festivities, it will be a strong show of dissent on your part.
Today, more than ever—with the central government using the Republic Day parade to stifle dissent among state governments—a boycott seems necessary. Stand with us, the citizens of this country, and with Kerala, Bengal, Maharashtra and Bihar, whose tableux have been rejected by the Centre, and will not be represented in the parade this year.
We leave you with a request to consider this suggestion, and trust you will do the right thing by the people of the country (as the Constitution defines us).
With sincerest regards,
Not In My Name — Bangalore