April 16, 2024

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Citizenship Amendment Act has been passed with majority in both the houses of parliament and act notified by president. The immediate consequence of this act has been bizarre and grotesques dance of street aggression and violence. Is this protest apparently against Citizenship Amendment Act is spontaneous or motivated and orchestrated?

The secular mandarins would like us to believe that this is a peaceful protest that is spontaneous and collective outpouring of anger against the bill. While no letter/clause of Citizenship Amendment Act deprives any community of his citizenship rights and aims to alleviate the sufferings of minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, it is hard to understand the game of brinkmanship being played by protesters. The home ministry and government have clearly and repeatedly that this act does not apply to any Indian citizens at all. It has absolutely nothing to do with deportation of any foreigner from India.

Let’s delve into the nature of this so-called spontaneous flair-up. The trains, buses, police vehicles have been set on fire, school buses, people and homes have been hit with stone and hospitals attacked. And most importantly these incidents have not come and gone by; rather these violent incidents have been orchestrated over a period of time and an extensive geography.

The modus operandi of this violent protest seems to time-tested trick from book. In national capital territory, the ‘intellectuals’ have created a smoke screen of student protest. There is clear act of arson and violent destruction, yet these ‘intellectuals’ are calling it peaceful protest and begging in the court of law that it be condoned as it is student protest.   This is most brazen way to plant anarchy and destroy the civil life of common citizenry. Some ‘intellectuals’ are wondering if police can actually enter varsity campus despite acts of hooliganism by students as if varsity campuses are ‘liberated zones’ within the political boundary of India and law enforcing must not chase hooligans once they are in these ‘liberated zones’.

These violent protests have also element of religious fundamentalism. One of the leading high profile Jamia protestor had this to say and needless to say these aggressive utterings are against the unity and diversity of our country. The tone and tenor of this leading protestor is overtly religious and contrary to the claims and hunky-dowry stories of secular intellectuals.

With the passing of CAB in both the houses of parliament and it being notified by president, BJP has fulfilled one of its most prominent ideological commitment of its electoral manifesto.

While it was expected that numerically fragile opposition will not be able to halt passing of CAB, more surprising was weak, jumbled up, incoherent arguments presented by opposition during the parliament debate. None of the opposition leader could cogently argue why a bill that seeks to provide comfort to beleaguered minorities from neighbouring countries could adversely impact the prospect of minorities in our country. The main opposition party conveniently and opportunistically put even Liyaqat-Nehru agreement on back burner. Pakistan never honoured it and Indian governments during Congress’ never pressed for it with urgency with Pakistan. This voluntary dereliction of duty put at peril lives of millions of non-Islamic populaces in three countries. 

The idea of their helplessness can be gauged from the fact that non-Muslims in Pakistan did not even have a constitutionally valid marriage law. Their places of worship were desecrated and dishonoured. Their cremation grounds violated, captured and denied access to Hindus and Sikhs. They were degraded socially and called Kafirs. The hapless minorities had near zero representation in parliament, judiciary, army and other government bodies.

In the light of extreme human rights violation and following the principles of human justice, people at large have welcomed CAB (this includes many who are BJP agnostics). When the politics of derailing this legislation by Congress and its secular cabal failed, they are now resorting to misinformation campaign and befooling the gullible masses that in states they are in power, CAB will not be implemented. This threat has potential to disrupt federal character of Indian Union. More alarming is news emanating from West Bengal every day, a state sharing its border with Bangladesh where flare-up is gaining momentum every day. The nature of protests in this state seems to be fundamentalist in nature and has less to do with CAB. The state government and its hot headed theological warriors are saying in no uncertain terms that persecuted Bengali Hindus be denied Indian citizenship. 

The protests by Islamists have now spread to other parts of country like UP, Bihar, Kerala, Telangana and even national capital territory of Delhi has not been spared. The intellectuals and activists are calling these acts of arsonists as peaceful protests. Opposition parties are stealthily supporting and adding fuel to the fire. Police is either a mute spectator (as in Bengal and Kerala) or if in action, it has been charged as brutal state machinery (as in Delhi). 

While it will take time for the unilateral communal fire to subside, Indians should remember the nature of conflict manufactured by opposition and their cohorts. Minorities of one country are alarmed and agitated by the reprieve provided to minorities of another country. No one anticipated it.

India amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 providing a path to Indian citizenship for religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Here are the Frequently asked questions about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. however it is sad to see how the CAA is being misinterpreted and the rumour mongerers are taking advantage of it and inciting the masses to rebel against government institutions. Here is a break down of the bill to provide some insights to the bill. 

 *1. What is Citizenship Amendment Act?*

The Citizenship Amendment Act proposes to provide Indian Citizenship to the minorities from the 3 neighboring countries – Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are persecuted because of their faith. This applied to ALL Minorities in those countries.

*2. What does the bill provide: *

The bill proposes to provide Citizenship to those minorities from the 3 countries who entered India on or before December 2014. Minority refugees have been staying in India for the last 4 decades.

*3. Why is this bill required now?*

These minorities have been living in India without much rights or dignity. Most came in the late 70s and early 80s, and had no rights till this bill was passed a few days ago. They have nowhere to go as they left everything in their country and fled to India to protect their lives. This bill provides them relief, so they can start their lives and contribute to society.

*4. What is the plight of the minorities in those countries? *

Hundreds of thousands of minority women were raped, murdered and forcibly converted into Islam. In many instances, such persecution had the explicit or tacit approval of the government in power. The minority population declined by 20 percent in the last few decades.

*5. What is NRC and are they linked?*

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a register maintained by the Indian Govt for the identification of Indian citizens of the Assam state. The NRC in Assam was conducted as per accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi govt in 1985 and per the Supreme Court ruling.

NRC and CAA are no linked. As of now, there is NO nationwide NRC.

*6. Is this bill against Indian Muslims*

Absolutely not. It is not against Muslims. It is a blatant lie that Indian Muslims are affected by this bill. This bill only applies to those who are NOT India Citizens and those who have taken refuge in India and living in India for over 5 years, due to persecution in their respective country for NOT following the religion of the state. No Indian citizen will be asked to produce any document to prove citizenship.

*7. Can Muslims from these countries apply for asylum in India?*

Yes, just in last 5 years India has granted citizenship to over 550 Pakistani nationals, Adnan Sami and thousands of Muslim nationals from other countries

*8. If CAA is about religious persecution, why Shias, Ahmediyyas, Balochs are not included*

All these groups are Muslims, they are not recognized as separate religions anywhere in the world. As Muslims, they are NOT minorities in their respective countries. They can apply for Indian Citizenship through several other provisions that exist in India’s Citizenship Act. India has granted citizenship to many Muslims from other countries.

*9. Why some people are raising a hue and cry about it?*

People are victims of deliberate misinformation campaign run by anti-social elements.Some Political parties and groups that want to divide communities for their selfish interests are stoking violence and damaging public properties.

*10. Did India give citizenship to others from different countries or is this the first time?*

India has been generously giving citizenships to persecuted people from different countries like China, Sri Lanka, Uganda and many other countries.

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