Ever since the Citizenship Amendment Act was introduced and passed in the parliament, the entire nation is reeling under a phase of political turmoil. The parties are blaming each other for their stand over the legislation, and people are out there protesting, raising slogans and showing their activism on the streets.
Amid the tensed environment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a rally at Ramlila Maidan (Delhi) to address the people’s concerns over CAA on December 22. If we go through the speech bit-by-bit, it seems that the BJP leader had tuned his speech more on the electoral tune than on an informative agenda to calm the population.
Speaking on regularizing the colonies, Prime Minister said that that the people in power have not done enough for the population of Delhi. This stands partially correct as the Delhi government, even with all its well-intended reasons and good-faith, couldn’t have brought a bill to regularise the unauthorized colonies since the LAND subject is not under their purview. Therefore, attacking the AAP government ahead of Delhi elections just for something that they are not capable of is politically and administratively wrong on many levels.
Narendra Modi said that fake news and misinformation regarding the CAA is being spread to provoke the people against the law. But in reality, the people are opposing the combination of CAA with NRC. Let me give you an example, suppose a Muslim gets excluded from the NRC exercise (for any valid reason), then CAA implementation will render them as ‘non-citizen‘. Where would they go? Isn’t that an exclusion based on religion?
Furthermore, the Prime Minister said that the ‘Educated Naxals’ in urban areas are misleading the Muslims. But what is the definition of Educated Naxals? Are these the students from our universities? Don’t the young students have any right to raise questions to the authority? If people raise their voice against the issues that matter, does that make them ‘anti-nationals’?
Plus, all the supporters of the legislation are raising their stiff voices, attacking the students and others for ‘spreading lies’. But this Act is clearly a violation of Constitutional provisions (Article 14 and Article 15). Article 15 says “No citizen shall, on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them, be subject to any disability, liability, restriction or condition with regard to…” So tell me, how is the exclusion of Muslims from the Act not a blatant abuse of constitutional spirit?
I understand that India wants to play the role of “Big-brother” in the Asian subcontinent, but if our country is not even able to protect its own citizens against any kind of fear, will it matter how generous we get along the line?
And can anyone tell what will happen if countries across the world start following this trend in some other way and stop granting long-term visas and citizenship? What if Canada says they will only give citizenship to the persecuted minorities of India?
We need to assess where the world order will lead us on this path if India is heading to be the global soft-power.
Note: The author supports the right to protest but in a peaceful manner. Regarding CAA, the author believes if NRC does not come, it is cool only because these three countries have declared themselves Islamic nations.