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Recalling Modi's clothes remark, top British daily editorial calls it rankest hypocrisy

By Our Representative
Strongly pointing out that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s citizenship law is "dangerous for all", and insisting that the new Indian legislation "purports to help those fleeing persecution abroad – but deepens communal divides at home", in a strongly-worded editorial, the British centre-left daily "Guardian" has said  that it "signals that Muslim citizens are not 'truly' Indian."
Calling recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) "arguably the biggest display of opposition to Narendra Modi since he took power six years ago, and for good reason", top daily, sharply criticising the "brutal police response", says, the demonstrators are the "confirmation of the country’s alarming trajectory."
"The legislation is the proof that Modi’s Hindu nationalist project is not a containable anomaly, but an enterprise that threatens the nation’s very foundations of pluralism and secularism", the daily says, warning, "Fear overshadows the hopes of that seven-decade endeavour."
The editorial says, while the law is "superficially" interpreted by the BJP government as intended to expand rather than remove rights, the editorial says, "It creates a fast-track path to citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsees and Christians arriving from Muslim-majority states, who would otherwise spend years labelled as illegal immigrants."
However, it says, it is not a measure of inclusion but "inherently" of one of "exclusion", which "discriminates against Muslims fleeing persecution, and signals that Muslim citizens are not 'truly' Indian", adding "It undermines constitutional protections which apply to foreigners as well as citizens in India."
Protests against the citizenship law is arguably the biggest display of opposition to Modi since he took power six years ago
"The purported logic is that Muslims do not need India’s help – news to Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Ahmadis and others in Muslim Pakistan. Should they arrive in Modi’s country they will be simply illegal immigrants. In a country where many lack proper documentation, Indian citizens risk the same status", the daily says.
Recalling that two million people face statelessness in Assam following exclusion from the National Register of Citizens (NRC), "sometimes because of simple clerical errors", the daily regrets, "Detention centres are already under construction", while home affairs minister Amit Shah compares illegal immigrants to "termites", wanting to expel them from India.
Noting that a country-wide version of NRC has repeatedly been proposed, the daily says, "That the legislation is deepening communal divides is not accidental. The prime minister’s claim that those setting fires 'can be identified by their clothes' was read as a clear reference to Muslims", it suggests his "rankest hypocrisy".
Accusing "figures in the west as well as at home" for helping "rehabilitate him after the 2002 pogrom", in which 2,000 were " muderdered", ven as "lauding him as a dynamic economic reformer", the daily calls demonetisation in 2016 as disastrous costing "at least 1.5m jobs."
"His failures in dealing with the country’s real problems – economic growth is slowing dramatically and unemployment at a four-decade high – have not created his majoritarianism. But they have spurred it", the daily underlines, adding, his "extraordinary political success reflects both his deeply-rooted ideological instincts and his utter opportunism."

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