Goa student's anti-CAA speech triggers political tussle

Gomantak Times
Sunday, 19 January 2020

A speech by a schoolgirl denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Act at a function organised by the Goa government's Education Department on Thursday has raised the political temperature in the coastal state.

Panaji: A speech by a schoolgirl denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Act at a function organised by the Goa government's Education Department on Thursday has raised the political temperature in the coastal state.

The Congress in a sarcastic statement said Goa Education Director Vandana Rao, who was the co-organiser of the event aimed to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution, should teach Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah "a thing or two about the Constitution".

In her four-minute long speech on Thursday, Diksha Talaulikar, a class eight student of the Maria Bombino High School at Cuncolim in South Goa, said that the CAA amounts to murder of the Constitution and its values.

"And today this bill discriminates them (Muslims), thus making a mockery of my fundamental duty to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood among people transcending religion, region and linguistic diversities. The country is burning. The soul of the Constitution, the Preamble, the liberty, equality and fraternity has been murdered," the student said in her speech in presence of Goa Advocate General Devidas Pangam at the National Institute of Oceanography auditorium near Panaji.

The speech made on January 16, in presence of nearly 400 heads of educational institutions, went viral on WhatsApp on Friday.

"Shattered as I see young students and citizens, who are mostly Hindus, protesting to clarify the Indian Citizenship Amendment bill 2019, that has been passed by the Parliament which has murdered the Constitution that upheld the right to equality, thus discriminating our Muslim brothers and sisters who are made to feel different in this country. Did not our Muslim brothers sacrifice to give us the freedom that we enjoy today?" Talaulikar also said.

"Are not the secular ideas of our Constitution makers destroyed? My dear friends, most of the Constitution makers in the Assembly were Hindus. But they never thought of breaking the secular fabric of India. Today, for the sake of greed to remain in power ideologies are imposed on citizens," she also said in her speech.

Reacting to the speech former BJP MLA and close aide of former Chief Minister, the late Manohar Parrikar, Sidharth Kuncalienkar tweeted that it was sad that "@BJP4Goa's #Education Dept toes line of #CAA_NRC_Protest by anti #CAA speech at official prog alleging @narendramodi murders #constitution", while also urging that the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant act sternly in the matter.

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