Dissent is greatest form of patriotism, says Pooja Bhatt

Source: PTI | Published on 28th January 2020, 1:00 PM | National News | Don't Miss |

Mumbai: Actress Pooja Bhatt on Monday said dissent is the greatest form of patriotism and asserted that students protesting against the CAA-NRC are giving the message that it's time to raise our voices.

Bhatt was among a host of noted personalties who spoke at a conference organised in the backdrop of the ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The event in Colaba, south Mumbai, was organised by the Parcham Foundation and We the People of Maharashtra.

Speakers later submitted a memorandum to government representatives, seeking to know the stand of state authorities on the CAA-NRC-NPR within 30 days.

Bhatt said "Our silence will not save us and neither will the government's. The ruling party has actually united us.

"Students (protesting against CAA-NRC) are giving us the message that it's time to raise our voices. We will not stop until we are heard loud and clear. Dissent is the greatest form of patriotism."

The aim of the conference was to discuss the need to preserve and safeguard the values of the Constitution and educate the masses about them, its organisers said.

Student activist Umar Khalid said, "We request the government to accept our memorandum. We are seeing a shift in the stance of the Shiv Sena but if it is a real shift then we need to see that in action.

"We have declared a satyagraha. Now the ball is in the government's court. Will they join us or stay aloof?"

IPS officer Abdur Rahman, who has resigned from service over the CAA-NRC, said "Every movement has heroes and heroes of this one (anti-CAA protests) are women.

"The government has many women representatives but no one has come to meet any of the protesting women. We have the right to protest peacefully and democratically. Police need to learn to defend laws and allow protests to take place."

Rahman said, "It (the CAA) is a coloured legislation.

There is no refugee crisis in India. It is being manufactured to divide us."

Businessman-politician Farhan Azmi said, "We will ensure this law is taken back. The more the government hates us, the more we will love them. Such conferences will continue.

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