Anyone opposing the CAA should go to the Supreme Court and challenge it constitutionally and government and people protesting are bound to abide by the decision. Holding people and nation to ransom without any rhyme or reason should be dealt firmly under the provisions of the law.
This article was first published in the magazine Spade A Spade.
Bengaluru: The nation's democracy and constitution seem to be under threat going by the continued protests by section of the people against the Citizenship Amendment Act passed by both the houses of the Parliament. Any amount of clarifications and appeals by the PM Modi-led NDA government, stating that the CAA is not meant for taking away citizenship but was aimed at providing succor to Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains , Buddhists and Christains who, because of religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, crossed over to India before December 2014 and are living in our country without any legal status, have fallen on deaf ears.
The protesters are not ready to believe the government but are bent upon continuing their protest in the most unruly manner, causing inconvenience to the general public. They have nothing to justify their fear that CAA will take away the citizenship of minorities mostly Muslims. The protesters are bent upon tarnishing the image of the nation internationally by defaming the present BJP government at the Centre by sticking on to a false narrative which does not augur well for our Republic and constitutional well-being. The CAA, which is now the law of the land, has to be respected by one and all, including the opposition parties like Congress and Communists who are behind these illegal protests. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are Islamic states, meaning Islam is the state religion there. Thus, automatically, unlike in India, adherents of all religions other than Islam, are second or third class citizens. Therefore, all non-Muslims are constitutionally inferior and this has conditioned the majority to ill-treat the religious minorities in these nations.
Since Partition, Hindus and other minorities have been subjected to all forms of harassment and cruelty in these nations, forcing them to either convert to Islam or flee. As a result, the population of Hindus in undivided Pakistan, which was around 24% in the mid-1940s, has crashed to just 1.7%. Similarly, in Bangladesh, which was earlier East Pakistan, the percentage of Hindus has crashed from 30% to about 7%. That is why the Muslims are left out of the list of persecuted minorities under the CAA. The Muslims in these Islamic countries are not minorities and hence there was no question of Muslims being persecuted in these countries. The CAA seeks to offer some help to these subjugated minorities and to only those who entered India before the cut-off date. It has nothing to do with citizens of India, whether Hindu or Muslim. It should be understood by one and all that the attempt by the Communists, Congress and others opposed to the BJP to spread the word that the
CAA is against the Muslim citizens of India is blatant lie and false.
This Act seeks to provide succour to persecuted religious minorities in Islamic states and this is in line with our country's dharma and our constitutional dharma as well. Those opposing this are abetting the non-secular, nondemocratic behaviour of the citizens of Islamic nations across India's border, and will thereby lose the moral right to talk about these values in India. The Communists and
Congress are also spreading canards about the NPR, the compilation of which is critical for policy formulation in the country. So, it appears JNU is their last bastion, and in combination with the Congress, the TMC and Communists are seeking to avenge their electoral humiliation by whipping up passions against the government that has received overwhelming public support. Meanwhile, the Kerala, Punjab and Rajasthan Assemblies have all passed resolutions asking Parliament to repeal the CAA.
Three other developments in recent weeks are extremely worrying. One, several chief ministers have declared that they will not implement the CAA in their states; two, the disgraceful decision to bring children to protest sites and to get them to raise foul, abusive slogans against a duly elected prime minister; and three, telling the Muslims not to respond to queries from enumerators who are tasked to prepare the NPR. Every chief minister and politician in the country who has declared that CAA will not be implemented in his or her state must immediately withdraw that statement, because it will amount to challenging the supremacy of the Constitution.
Even top Congress leader and legal mind Kapil Sibal has cautioned that the CAA duly passed by the two houses of the parliament will stand the legal test and states will have to implement them.
Parliament is empowered to make laws regarding citizenship, and no state or individual has the right to say that the law made by Parliament will not be implemented. If the CMs persist with this line, it will amount to a constitutional breakdown and the consequences will be terrible because the overwhelming majority in this country swears by the Constitution and will not allow a few malcontents in our politics to disturb its rhythm and balance. Secondly, the decision by protestors to bring kids to protest sites and to get them to hurl abuses at PM Narendra Modi is another act of brinkmanship which no reasonable person will support. Lastly, asking Muslims to boycott the NPR is equally risky, because any attempt to stymie the working of a duly elected government at the federal level will have its own implications.
Those who are encouraging such tendencies are treading a dangerous path. It is indeed unfortunate that one has to make such a gloomy prognosis about what lies ahead, around the time the nation is celebrating Republic Day. The majority has to be alert to ensure that the Constitution and the democratic way of life remain undisturbed. Anyone opposing the CAA should go to the Supreme Court and challenge it constitutionally and government and people protesting are bound to abide by the decision.
Holding people and nation to ransom without any rhyme or reason should be dealt firmly under the provisions of the law.
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Last Updated Feb 10, 2020, 3:50 PM IST