Zoe Osborne and Hannah Ellis-Petersen wrote an article entitled “Is India going to lose its soul?” in ‘The Observer’ during December 2019 in support of Anti-CAA agitation and reminded India’s BJP government about Gandhi’s ‘idea of India’.
The Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA 2019 of India had nothing to do with Indian Muslims, repeat, Indian Muslims. Like all other countries, India enacted its own Citizenship Laws in 1955. The CAA 2019 had only eased the citizenship procedure for the six persecuted religious minorities from three neighboring Islamic/ Muslim countries of India, namely Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
CAA had addressed the issue of ‘Human Rights and Dignity’ of six non-Muslim minorities from those three Islamic / Muslim countries. CAA was for giving citizenship to the refugees who had fled from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan for religious persecution. CAA had no provision to take away citizenship from any Indian, least to speak of Indian Muslims.
CAA had not prevented the normal ways of getting Indian citizenship by non-Indians, including Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. In past five years more than 300 Pakistanis were given Indian citizenship. Prominent among them were singer Adnan Sami and actress Salma Aga.
In the question of agitation against CAA, which was also violent in many places of India, it was interesting to note that the agitators had no idea about CAA. This fact was observed during agitation when they were asked as to why and what for they were agitating. The main standard reply was “CAA is anti-Muslim”. But none could explain as to how it was anti-Muslim. A few agitators even parroted words like ‘democracy is in danger’, ‘secularism is in danger’, ‘constitution is violated’, and ‘Indian inclusiveness is gone’ etc. etc. without proving anyone.
Some agitators, on the other hand, had read too much between the lines of CAA and asked why Ahmediya, Shia and Hazara were excluded from CAA? That way the list would have gone on and on without any end like, inclusion of Rohingyas of Myanmar, Tamils of Sri Lanka, Yazidis of Iraq and Syria, Christians of Egypt and so on and so forth. Article 14 of Indian Constitution required “reasonable classification” and CAA had satisfied that provision of Constitution.
The much publicized ‘Shaheen Bagh’ protest in Delhi against CAA from December 2019 to March 2020 was Islamic in nature and content. It had the support of Congress, Communists, and so called Secular and Liberal gangs of India. Their intention was to destabilize BJP government of Modi. Popular Front of India (PFI), which was an Islamic terrorist organization, led the agitation from its head quarters in Shaheen Bagh.
Many right wing Indian Hindus wondered about absolute absence of such liberty for Hindus in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to publicly agitate for the cause of Hindus. That differential liberty in South East Asia was troubling them. International media, under the influence of Islamists and Leftists, glorified Shaheen Bagh simply to defame India.
In a recent judgment on Shaheen Bagh, Indian Supreme Court has ruled that showing protest against government was Fundamental Right, but not Absolute Right and common public could not be disturbed by blocking road for months together in the name of protest as was done in Shaheen Bagh.
During 2003, Congress leader Manmohan Singh, who was PM of India from 2004 to 2014, had urged upon the then BJP government of India to help the persecuted Hindus from Bangladesh. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, then the lone MP from her party, also wanted a discussion in Parliament in 2005 on Bangladeshi infiltrators. And on being denied, she threw papers on Deputy Speaker of Parliament and publicly cried which demonstrated her frustration of that time.
So far Gandhi was concerned, it was to say with great regret that Gandhi had been used, overused and misused by anybody and everybody. In his Delhi Diary, Gandhi on 26 September 1947 said on fall out of partition “To secure justice for the Hindus and Sikhs was the function of the Government.” CAA 2019 reiterated what Gandhi wanted.
About the core question of the said article in The Observer on ‘soul of India’, no Indian right wing Hindu could tell anything for sure. The population of Muslims in India had increased from 9.8% in 1951 to about 18% in 2018. On the other hand, Hindu population in Pakistan and Bangladesh had been decreasing sharply. That differential situation was surely not good for future ‘soul’ of India.
Indian Muslim leaders and clerics never came forward in last seven decades to disown publicly the Islamic concepts of Kafir, Jihad, Dar al-Islam, and Ghazwa-e-Hind in the name of ‘Secular India, ‘Inclusive India’ and its ‘Soul’. They, on the contrary, remained silent on those burning issues. Indian Muslims never protested against persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They were concerned only with Palestine and Rohingyas. They were also tactically fixed with ‘Babri mosque’ and ‘Gujarat’ with a memory loss about thousand such atrocities against non-Muslims and their religious places in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Another catchword for Indian Muslims was ‘Lynching’. If religious profiling of rapists and murderers and their victims in India was done, the cat would be out of bag.
A large group of Right wing Indian Hindus argued that when Muslims refused to live with Kafir Hindus and made Islamic Pakistan in 1947 and Bangladesh in 1971, why their descendants should be allowed to illegally infiltrate India in millions? They should be happy in their Islamic Pakistan and Muslim Bangladesh.
The question of ‘soul of India’ is in the court of Indian Muslims and the core question (“Is India going to lose its soul?”) should be directed towards them alone. Tens of millions of Indian Hindus are against Hindu Rashtra, that is, Hindu Nation. But only the Muslims of India can prevent the slide of the country towards a ‘Hindu Rashtra’.
Indian Muslims need to forgo Muslim Personal Laws, their exclusiveness, sense of entitlement, glorification of cruel Muslim invaders and rulers, mind set of Ummah, and other discriminatory Islamic concepts for the sake of their Indian identity and integrate with India with heart and soul to sustain the “soul” of India. If Muslims in India in particular and South East Asia in general continue to practice “heads I win, tails you lose”, soul of India will be determined by right wing Indian Hindus in coming days!