The Anti-CAA agitators are waging their battle against the ruling BJP led NDA government, purely based on their perceptions. The atmosphere of politics has vitiated the Bill. For, the Left parties and the Congress and other opposition parties that rely on Muslim-Vote, created this ruckus, as they have more animosity and less trust towards the BJP. However, by mere speculations and perception, a law cannot be pushed back. Their arguments hold no water. No court can settle the matter on mere conjecture.
Let the CAA law and National Population Register (NPR) be implemented, if there are any grievous violations, then, there is a case for argument/redressal. Since, so and so party has taken up this procedure, we object— is a kind of attitude that would not augur well for a democracy. On one side, the opposing forces of the CAA, have been agitating against it and on the other side, the same forces have been lamenting that the government, has used the law-the CAA, as a diversionary tactic to obfuscate India’s economic slow-down, unemployment and inflation. If the latter, they found as genuine issue(s), the CAA is only a facade, let them agitate for the latter, why on the CAA? Why falling in a trap (as assumed by them)? By the way, as the proof of the pudding, the unemployed youths have not come out, only the anti-CAA activists are raising questions, whose veracity has to ascertained.
Anti-CAA activists and their supporting political parties cite:
That the law goes against the spirit of the Constitution that is secular. As a matter of fact, the Constitutions draws only boundaries within which adjustment could be made. By the way, is ‘Secularism’ a ‘religion’ (i.e. with a fixed framework)? The definition of secularism is nowhere given in the Constitution or what it stands for. There is a Citizenship law in the country by which any person from a foreign country can obtain Citizenship by fulfilling certain criteria specified. The CAA is only an amendment to the Citizenship law of India by which the persecuted minorities of three-neighbouring countries get the benefit.
The three neighbouring countries are obviously Islamic Republics. The minority migrants from those countries have been staying in India for decades in squalor (filth and dirt). Their condition is pathetic. Going by the anti-CAA activists, if the Ahmadiyya, Hazaras and Shias remain victimised in the neighbourhood, it is a problem internal to their religion Islam. In any case, once the process of the CAA and NPR are completed, their cases may be taken into consideration, going by the merit of each. The ambit of the CAA law may be expanded, if needed. Leave it to the wisdom and benevolence of the government. After all, the government is of the people, by the people and for the people in a democracy.
The argument of anti – CAA groups that Indian Muslims have chosen India to live, meaning to say, as it abides by the secular spirit, is a specious argument. Jinnah had created the situation for the Partition. In those days, no doubt, the so-called moderate and nationalist ulema like Mufti Kifayatullah, and an organisation like the Jamiat-ul-Ulema-Hind opposed the Muslim League and their stand for the Partition. The history says, they did so with a selfish purpose. Their hidden agenda to oppose carving out Pakistan was: why confining the spread and hegemony, “the sway and glory” of Islam to one corner of India (i.e. to be formed Pakistan then), when the whole of the sub-continent was open territory for the religion. One good fall out of the Partition is, it has enabled a pluralist, democratic culture to have had the chance to survive (in what is remained of after the Partition) as a nation- India.
The anti-CAA activists raise the fears on NRC/NPR (that follow the CAA)— while the survey is made, many government officials, may declare Muslims, who cannot produce the evidence (by way of documents) to be in ‘doubtful’ category. These activists never objected to local Congress politicians enrolling Bangladeshi migrants into voters list in Assam all these years. The same officials are said to be bribed and managed then. Hence, the argument is a double-edged sword.
The anti-CAA protesters and their leaders felt their stand is vindicated by Satya Nadendla, when he said: ‘he would love to see a Bangladeshi immigrant who comes to India and creates the next unicorn in India, or becomes the CEO of Infosys, that should be the aspiration’. That is a lofty aspiration! Satya Nadendla, instead of going to USA, should have shown himself by example. If a migrant could possibly make a difference, why couldn’t the native?
The anti -CAA activists like Ramchandra Guha follow the lines of Eric Hobsbawm and Benedict Anderson who propose open-borders, free movement of people etc. India’s geography does not permit that. As a Marxist, Hobsbawm underplayed his own ethnic origins. Anderson did not see nationalism as something rooted in ancient history or in ties of blood or soil. Both are internationalists. So, the CAA is also perceived as an ideological battle for the Left.
The anti – CAA groups pointed out billionaire philanthropist George Soros remarks against the CAA (to be the biggest and most frightening setback to the survival of open societies), in the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. The West talks of open societies and porous borders without knowing the historicity of India. They have an obsession with their western-values and try to impose on India, without knowing the geo-political implications. For all this, again the West, the British colonial masters, while leaving India, drew the lines of Indian map arbitrarily in the sand and sowed the seeds of generations long communal strife. India is paying the penalty. The country has a constant threat from neighbouring countries, specially, from Pakistan with its sponsoring of cross-border terrorism.
The anti- CAA lawyers, recently, tried to stall the CAA law in Supreme Court by citing Assam Accord of 1985, which fixes cut-of date for grant of citizenship as March 24, 1971, this extension being pending in the apex court. Rightly the Court has neither postponed the implementation of the CAA nor stayed it. The number of infiltrators in Assam being so enormous, the cultural and ethnic composition of the area has been altered. For several years, they are the deciders in several areas, who shall or who shall not be elected in those areas rather than the actual citizens of India. The Congress has brought to this pass after its long- rule. Now, it is seeking time for extension by saying- if this process (of giving citizenship) not started for 70-years, it can sure wait for another two months! How ridiculous! The Congress did not/could not do what it had to and is not allowing others to do.
The Shaheen Bagh demonstration and carrying of tricolour flag and invoking Gandhi and Ambedkar, is a planned one. However, JNU leader, Sharjeel Imam’s controversial comment about Assam pulled the gas out of the balloon. Reading preamble of the Constitution is easy, can the Shaheen Bagh crowd sing Gandhi ji’s signature-song Eswara-Allah tere naam—–is the big question. That song has been always for Gandhi ji and his innocent Hindu-followers!
Finally, NPR is much needed. For, a nation which does not know even the true size of its population can hardly claim a place among the enlightened and progressive nations. The elementary function of a State is to safeguard itself against foreigners. Once the CAA and NPR exercise is completed, from then onwards, the country could easily detect who are the newly entering foreigners without permission and those with permission but over-staying. This cleansing process, should in no way, be stalled.