As the nation celebrated the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill today evening, there was one discordant note. Just as the bill was passed, IPS officer Abdur Rahman tweeted that he believed that the bill was against the basic features of the constitution. ” I condemn this Bill. In civil disobedience I have decided not attend office from tomorrow. I am finally quitting the service,” he tweeted, while tagging NDTV and Indian Express.
His tweet went viral, and as of writing, has been shared more than 1,900 times. Predictably, the outrage from liberals began soon after. Some said that it was a matter of shame for the Indian republic.
While others implied that his resignation could be the first in a string of others.
The news was also shared by prominent journalists, including Barkha Dutt.
But as it turns out, Rahman’s resignation perhaps didn’t have much to do with the Citizenship Amendment Bill at all. A closer look at his “resgination letter” dated today, says that he had applied for Voluntary Retirement on 1st August 2019 for “personal reasons.” He goes on to say that on 25th October 2019, the MHA had rejected his request for voluntary retirement. “The rejection was not as per law and service rules,” he says.
It is all rather convenient how Rahman has tried to link his resignation with the Citizenship Amendment Bill. When he’d first requested for voluntary retirement, the Citizenship Amendment Bill wasn’t exactly on the horizon — in fact, his request for voluntary retirement was made even before the abrogation of Article 370 on 5th August. Had the MHA accepted his request, he would’ve already been retired from service. How his retirement suddenly came as a result of the Citizenship Amendment Bill is anyone’s guess.
Three things hold a clue. For one, Rahman chose to tag NDTV and Indian Exprses in his “resgination” tweet, clearly he wants publicity from channels where are thought to be against the Modi government. Secondly, a cursory look at his Twitter feed shows his political leanings. On 26th May, he’d tweeted that Muslims are attacked by VHP and BJP elements.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, Rahman just written a book. Called Denial and Deprivation, it was released in February, and since then, he’s been promoting it wherever he goes. Is there better publicity for an author than having become the liberal hero who quit to uphold his ideals? Expect Rahman to become a fixture of the NDTV-Khan Market circles in coming days.