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CAA against 'idea of India': Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was against the "the idea of India" and the framers of the Constitution explicitly rejected any idea of citizenship on the basis of religion.

PTI Reported by: PTI New Delhi Updated on: March 04, 2020 22:05 IST
CAA against 'idea of India': Shashi Tharoor
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CAA against 'idea of India': Shashi Tharoor

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was against the "the idea of India" and the framers of the Constitution explicitly rejected any idea of citizenship on the basis of religion.

Tharoor, speaking at the inaugural Dr N R Madhava Menon Memorial Lecture by O P Jindal Global University on the theme 'Law and The Idea of India', said India is a "land of belonging" rather than of blood and what binds the idea of India is the rule of law contained in the Constitution.

Menon was an educationist, scholar and the pioneering spirit behind modern legal education in India.

Menon was the founder director of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore and headed it for 12 years. After that, he established 

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS) in 1998 and later presided as the founder director of Judicial Academy (NJS), Bhopal, till 2006.

Quoting B R Ambedkar, Tharoor said, "The Constitution makers explicitly rejected any idea of citizenship on the basis of religion.... It is for the Supreme Court to decide on the constitutionality of the law (CAA), but it goes against the very spirit, the idea of India."

Referring to former President Pranab Mukherjee's statement that Indian Penal Code is full of inequities that need to be changed, Tharoor hailed the Supreme Court for delivering landmark judgments on section 377 of IPC which decriminalised gay sex.

He also expressed concern over the role of media in the recent times and said that a new and disturbing trend of trial by media has emerged.

"While I am a staunch supporter of press freedom, the media in recent times has played the role of judge, jury and even executioner," Tharoor said.

Supreme Court judge Justice S K Kaul also spoke on the occasion and said the Constitution must be elastic enough to change according to a changing times.

Justice Kaul referred to the recent judgements on adultery, section 377 and permanent commission of women in armed forces, saying that these cases have played important role in bolstering role of India.

Quoting Ambedkar, Justice Kaul said "constitutional morality" is not a natural sentiment and it has to be cultivated.

Professor C Rajkumar, founding vice chancellor of O P Jindal Global University, delivered the welcome address.

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