Following the passage of contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (now Citizenship Amendment Act) there have been massive protests in North East (NE) India and many parts of the nation. Primarily, it needs to be understood that the protest movements both in NE and mainland India are diverse on its demand and character. In NE, the movement is to scrap the entire act, while in mainland India, the protest is against the exclusion of Muslims from the list of beneficiaries of the citizenship amendment.
There has been multiple video footage emerging from West Bengal, Assam and Delhi of unruly mobs damaging public property, raising provocative slogans and attacking security personnel. A section of media has already begun the process of glorifying students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in Delhi and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), where protests against CAA took a violent turn.
The major accusation of the Islamists and left liberals is that the act violates basic feature of Indian constitution, Secularism as religion is used as a criterion for granting citizenship. So the question is, can giving citizenship to minorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh be justified?
The partition of India, which happened in 1947, saw displacement of millions of people to and fro both in Pakistan and India. Even when both the nations were created, the framers had given assurance that both nations will take care of their minorities. An additional agreement was signed between Pandit Nehru and Liaqat Ali Khan called the Delhi Pact in 1950, which reiterated the commitment of both the new nations to protect its minorities (Pakistan includes both East and West Pakistans).
While the minorities were ensured all constitutional safeguards in India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan failed to keep its word, and Hindus were persecuted from the very beginning and it continues even today. Many of the Hindus migrated from East Pakistan (Bangladesh) during the liberation war of 1971 due to religious persecution settled in West Bengal and Assam.
Afganistan also had a substantial population of Hindus. Following the invasion of Soviet Union and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism as a counter to Russia, resulted in Hindus and Sikhs fleeing the country. Their fear was proved to be genuine when large statues of Buddha in Bamiyan Vaelley were demolished by Taliban using dynamite. In short, it can be argued that Hindus (including other minorities) are unsafe in Islamic nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Now, the basic question is where will persecuted Hindus and other minorities go for a safe shelter? Those people who advocate the inclusion of Muslims in the purview of CAA fail to understand that Muslims are not persecuted on religious grounds in Islamic countries (keeping in mind the condition of Shias and Ahmadiyas, it’s an inter-Islamic conflict, and India has no obligation towards it.)
Home Minister Amit Shah had made it clear in the Indian parliament that the new Citizenship Act doesn’t affect India’s existing citizens and it is for those refugees who came from India’s Islamic neighbors. So, why are protests happening against CAA? You can’t complain if an accusation is made that this is essentially a product of universal Islamic brotherhood, can you?
Dr B.R. Ambedkar, in his book ‘Pakistan or the Partition of India’, states that “Islam is the brotherhood of Muslims for the Muslims” (page 330, Para 3, Part 3, Chapter 7). Being classified as ‘minority institution’, special reservations are given to the Muslim community in both Jamia and Aligarh, and are hence heavily populated with students from the Muslim community.
Buses were burnt outside Jamia Islamia and students were seen hurling stones at the police. The excuse that their participation in the protest is strictly based on human rights concerns cannot be believed since none of these student organisations or university student unions ever showed their solidarity towards persecuted Hindus in Pakistan or when Kashmiri Pandits were thrown out of valley.
The complete ignorance of the left liberals and Islamists towards the pathetic condition of Hindus and other minorities in the Islamic nations are now out in the public domain. Students of these universities were seen fighting with the cops, and when the security personnel used force, the students played the victim card, and as usual channels fighting for TRPs, turned it into breaking news. But the students of these reputed universities using religion to shield illegal immigrants cannot be justified.
The proposed nation-wide NRC is helpful to flush out Rohingyas from India. It needs to be noted that even the Prime Minister of Bangladesh called Rohingyas a security threat to the region. Hence, a call to grant citizenship to the Rohingyas cannot be accepted. It is high time that the security is tightened in these universities, and any form of violence is dealt with severe repercussion.
Citizenship Amendment Act provides justice for the persecuted minorities of the Islamic republics, and hence, should be accepted by the general public in the spirit of justice and human rights.