Skip to main content

Why can't India treat all persecuted people of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan equally?

Counterview Desk
The People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS), in a statement, has said that the Citizenship Amendment Act violate the fundamental principle of secularism of the Indian Constitution of India, pointing out, after the partition, while Indian laws treated anyone who had come to India equally, irrespective of their religion and belief, and this is what distinguished India from Pakistan.
Pointing out that Pakistan was created only for the purpose of providing a homeland only to Muslims, PADS says, CAA “follows the ‘two nation’s theory’ and accepts the RSS demand that India should be a homeland for Hindus, and Hindus only”, adding, “Singling out Muslims is a clear signal that their faith makes them secondary citizens in India.”

Text

People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism (PADS) strongly condemns the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed by the Parliament on December 11, 2019. The Modi government used its brute majority to force it through the Parliament, without addressing any of the concerns raised against it. The law violates principle of secularism, which is part of the basic structure of the constitution.
Parliament has no legal authority to change the Constitution’s basic structure. The Act discriminates against non-believers and Muslims, as they are the only ones left out its ambit. Apologists of the BJP regime argue that this law does not affect rights of existing citizens of India, that it will grant citizenship to only those Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Jains, and Buddhists who have migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious persecution in these countries, and are not yet citizens.
However, since it makes religion based discrimination one of the conditions of citizenship in India, it violates the secularism of the Constitution. It needs to be emphasised that even after the horrendous communal violence of the Partition in 1947, when millions of people had come to India from areas which formed Pakistan, Indian laws had treated anyone who had come to India equally, irrespective of their religion and belief.
This is what had distinguished India from Pakistan, which was created with the explicit purpose of providing a homeland only to Muslims. This law follows the ‘two nation’s theory’ and accepts the RSS demand that India should be a homeland for Hindus, and Hindus only. Singling out Muslims is a clear signal that their faith makes them secondary citizens in India.
It is clear that diverse groups of people face political, ethnic, linguistic and religious persecution in all countries of South Asia. Residents of Kashmir valley have been under lock down ever since article 370 was read down in August. Their political leaders are arrested and normal life is paralysed. Sikhs were massacred in India in 1984 and had faced state led persecution during the Khailistan movement.
Muslims had faced largescale killings during riots in Mumbai in 1992 after the demolition of Babri Masjid, and in Gujrat in 2002. Christians, Hindus, Ahmidiyas have faced persecution under Shariat laws of Pakistan. Shias and Hazaras too have been facing violence at the hands of Islamic fundamentalists there.
Civil wars in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have led to large scale persecution of linguistic and religious minorities. Bangladeshi atheist bloggers like Avijit Roy and Ahmed Haider were killed by Islamic fundamentalists. Writer Taslima Nasreen who wrote against attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh was hounded out of the country.
If people of India want to help persecuted people in its neighbourhood, then they must treat every persecuted person equally. It is against the basic values of humanity that one kind of persecution is devalued in comparison to other persecutions.
The actual intention behind CAA comes out clearly when it is seen along with another pet project of BJP, the National Register of Citizens. The NRC will demand every Indian to prove to the government that they are Indians. Anyone who cannot prove this to the satisfaction of the government will become a stateless subject, a human being without a country.
As has happened with the NRC exercise in Assam, the most immediate victims of the NRC will be the poor of all communities; daily wagers, migrant workers, farmers and adivasis living in marginal lands, who will find it difficult to get necessary documentary proofs of their citizenship. 
In this group of vulnerable, the most vulnerable will be poor Muslims. Laws like the CAA will provide some relief to people of other faiths. Given the march of India towards a Hindu Rashtraunder Modi regime, poor Muslims suffer most.
Protection to persecuted minorities in other countries is not at all the purpose of CAA.Nor is the purpose of NRC to provide a life of security to Indians. Their key aim is to keep the pot of communal politics boiling in India. The CAA and NRC are political and ideological projects of the RSS and the BJP.
Their calculation is that the CAA will create and consolidate the vote bank of Bengali speaking Hindus in Assam and West Bengal who have migrated from Bangladesh, in its favour. The jingoist nationalism around NRC will be used to target minorities, and spread hatred against progressives and liberals who oppose any exercise meant to prove to the satisfaction of the government that all Indians living in the country are indeed Indians.
A key tactic of fascist politics world over is to keep the society in turmoil so that by projecting the selected group of people as threats to the majority, the latter can be consolidated behind fascism. Ever since the BJP came to power under Modi in 2014, it has unleashed lynching mobs against Muslims and Dalits under the banner of cow protection. Students of Jawahalal Nehru University (JNU) and others questioning government policies have been declared ‘anti-nationals’. Human rights activists fighting for the rights of Adivasis in central have been declared ‘urban-Naxals’.
The CAA and the threat of NRC has led to widespread protests all over the country. Modi and his minsters are trying to show to the so-called majority community that only people protesting against the CAA are Muslims. These are blatant lies.
People of Assam are on streets because the CAA violates provisions of Assam Accord, which had brought a measure of peace to the state. Five people have lost life there in police firing. All political parties barring BJP’s allies have condemned the act. When students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University protested against the CAA, police was unleashed on them. The police fired teargas inside the Jamia library and attacked students studying there.
It threatened women students inside their hostels. Two people are receiving treatment for bullet injuries. Police violence has galavanised students all over the country, and protests have been held in many universities. The humanity and bravery of our youth is exemplary. Viral videos of five young women students of Jamia who stood against lathi wielding policemen mercilessly beating one of their fellow students show the path to the future.
PADS appeals to the people of India to defeat the communal designs of the RSS and BJP. When economy is in doldrums, youth face a dark future of unemployment, and women are not safe in our cities and villages, it is a pernicious ploy to take people’s attention away from failures of the Modi regime.
PADS demands that attacks on students of Jamia and AMU be investigated by a judicial enquiry, and policemen and their officers responsible for these are punished.PADS demands that CAA be repealed immediately. Laws which violate the secular spirit of the constitution are illegal and unjust.

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Russia, China to call the shots in Middle East, as Muslim nations turn into house of cards

By Haider Abbas* Only a naive would buy that the ‘situation of ceasefire’ between the State of Israel and Hamas would continue, as if the foiled attempt to demolish Al Aqsa this time, is not be repeated, if not in any near future then in sometime to come. Israel already has spurned the ‘ceasefire’ by storming Al Aqsa after the Friday prayers on May 21.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Modi-led regime 'contributed' 60% to rise of global poverty, yet Hindutva is intact

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* In recent years, the Hindutva politics has caused long term damage to India and Indians. The so called 56-inch macho PM, the propaganda master manufactures and survives all political crisis including the current mismanagement of the Coronavirus pandemic in India. In spite of deaths and destitutions, the social, cultural, economic and religious base of Hindutva is intact.

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.