Despite protests all across India, the Citizenship Amendment Bill received a green flag in the upper and lower house of the Parliament. The Bill will give protection to non-Muslim minorities who are facing persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Bill on the moral grounds of protecting minorities received assent from President Ram Nath Kovind and became a Constitutional Act (Act No. 47 of 2019). There is unrest among people of India about it being in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution; the Act, however, is not unconstitutional as it comes under a special provision of the Citizenship Act of 1955.
The Act talks about classification on the basis of intelligible differentiation and a rational purpose to be fulfilled. The biggest question is that who alone has the power to make intelligent differentiation? Are the members of Parliament alone capable of making such differentiation? Democracy paved its way as the answer that caused protests in various parts of the country. The answer delivered by the peaceful protests was not liked by the elected members of the Cabinet causing violence, bigotry and damage to the public property across India.
The makers of the Constitution gave the best years of their lives to ensure that the secular integrity of the country protects every person who is equally adding to the growth, development and functioning of this country—irrespective of their class, religion and language, unlike the present. The Constitution that Drafting Committee of the Constituent Assembly gifted to this nation had no such provision where a privileged class of right-wingers gets to decide what’s best in the interest of the nation and its people by raising communal stress. The upper-class Hindus have never failed to desiccate the country into different segments on the basis of caste among their own religion. Now, the matter has crossed the borders and has become inter-religious.
The population of India is a mixture of people who came to India from different parts of the world and with them brought a wide variety of cultures centuries ago. While many of them chose not to stay, a handful of them decided to make peace and settled as neighbours at ease for their nation. Through long term struggle and intimacy, those people gave birth to a culture which we celebrate as the largest democracy in the world. The culture provided no harm to anyone, and it brought wealth, peace and diversity to the country. Then why suddenly a group started to treat that culture as a threat to the masses and endeavoured to revoke a goon that was defeated through years of struggle?
This itself has the answer that the country is not heading towards the future, but it has decided to go back in the past and destroy which was once the glory of the nation. The mindset of people practicing such bigotry pertains to make them believe that vandalism left in the past will come back to harm the people of India. What makes them think that way? The upper Hindu caste alone has forgotten that people who practiced such vandalism didn’t stay in India for long, and they had no time to wait for years to do that again. The price of such a wrong mindset has left the whole country in a flabbergasted state where thousands of innocent lives are at stake, and no one knows who is the right person to share their horror.
Is it a green signal to revoking a new form of the caste system in the country where few communities will be targeted for oppression to maintain the position of the higher class? This Act gives a clear idea stating what religion and class are right and wrong for the ‘welfare’ of the country. The idea was to prevent minorities of other countries from persecution who are facing struggle on the grounds of class and religion. Aren’t we creating more class divisions by giving our assent to it?