Monday, 30th October 2017

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Sugata Bose bats for protesting students

Finger at judiciary

By Subhankar Chowdhury in Calcutta
  • Published 23.12.19, 1:39 AM
  • Updated 23.12.19, 1:39 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Sugata Bose Telegraph picture

Students are hitting the streets against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens because the judiciary has failed them and the Opposition is in disarray, Sugata Bose, the Harvard professor of oceanic history, said on Sunday.

Bose, also a former MP, said students were displaying the real power against the Centre’s move, which he said was denying citizens their rights.

“The students are hitting the streets because the institutions like judiciary, the Supreme Court have failed them. They (the Centre) have passed the UAPA (Amendment) Act. There has been an absolute clampdown in Kashmir. Then there is this anti-citizen Citizenship (Amendment) Act and then a threat of National Register of Citizens. Because our institutions have failed to stand up, we have no option, the students have no option but to take the fight to the streets. The students are showing some real power and I must congratulate them. They are the only hope,” Bose said on the sidelines of a programme in Calcutta.

Students of Presidency and Jadavpur universities and a host of colleges have been demonstrating against the act and NRC and also the police crackdown at Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia in Delhi.

Bose, who represented Jadavpur in the Lok Sabha, spoke about the habeas corpus petitions filed in the Supreme Court over arrests in Kashmir.

“We don’t know what is happening in Kashmir. How many of them have been held captive? People are approaching the Supreme Court, but it does not have any option for habeas corpus. Habeas corpus means someone who is being held captive has to be produced before the court immediately. If they say they will look into the case after a gap of 15 days or after a few months after the state has taken steps in the name of national security, that is not habeas corpus,” said Bose.

Bose condemned the treatment meted out to historian Ramachandra Guha during a march against the amended citizenship act and the NRC in Bangalore on Thursday.

“He has been misbehaved with. But at least he had to be released within a few hours of detention because he happens to be an eminent citizen. But we are absolutely clueless about how many have been detained or held captive in Kashmir and what is going to be their fate,” Bose said.

When Metro asked him whether the political parties have also failed students, he said: “The Opposition has been in disarray. I cannot tell you how many messages I received when the UAPA (Amendment) Act was passed and the CAA was being passed.... These needed to be opposed much more eloquently and effectively in both houses.”

Bose said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah were talking like Curzon. “They are trying to say this (CAA) is a settled fact. But in Bengal we have a political tradition of unsettling the settled facts,” he said.