According to reports, the protests started after Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan spoke in favour of the just amended Citizenship Act while responding to some points raised by Habib on the issue.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday faced protests from noted historian Irfan Habib and some delegates during his inaugural address at the Indian History Congress (IHC) in Kannur. The entire incident took place at Kannur University where Habib had gone to inaugurate the 80th session of the IHC.
According to reports, the protests started after Khan spoke in favour of the just amended Citizenship Act while responding to some points raised by Habib on the issue.
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Khan had quoted Maulana Azad while speaking on the issue, prompting Habib to react. Habib got up from his seat and tried to stop Khan from speaking. He then asked Khan to quote Nathuram Godse instead of leaders like Mahatma Gandhi or Maulana Azad. Some delegates who were sitting in front also protested.
“You have every right to protest. But you cannot shout me down,” Khan responded immediately.
The Kerala Governor’s office in a series of tweets with photographs said efforts were made to interrupt his speech on stage and from the audience. The tweets said intolerance towards a different opinion was undemocratic, adding that Khan had only responded to points raised by previous speakers.
“Shri Irfan Habib tried on stage to disrupt inaugural address questioning Hon’ble Governor’s right to quote Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad, shouting that he should quote Godse. He pushed Hon’ble Governor’s ADC and Security Officer, who prevented his unseemly gesture,” the tweet shared from Kerala Governor’s account reads.
“Hon’ble Governor said that he had responded to points raised by previous speakers, as a person duty bound to defend and protect the Constitution. But trying to disrupt speech from stage and audience due to intolerance towards different opinion is undemocratic,” another tweet reads.
According to Khan, it was Habib who had raised some points on the Citizenship Amendment Act. But when he addressed these points, the “historian rose from his seat on the stage to physically stop him and this was clear from the video”.