Author: Gopal Vinod.
The North-East Issue & CAA Argument
Thirty-four years of Assam accord makes it a senior of most, if not all, the fulminating students. Most of these protesters were not even conceived when, in 1985, that accord was signed by Rajeev Gandhi, the father of now vociferously opposed busybodies Rahul and Priyanka.
It is an apt reminder here that the then Assam movement was a student-led movement that had to turn violent in utter frustration. Those students were really spooked by an impending danger of being outnumbered by over a decade-long steady influx of the illegal migrants from the then collapsing Bangladesh under dictatorial rule. With the signing of that accord, the then movement leaders got co-opted in the state’s power politics making room for the Assam accord to be secretly accorded a forlorn burial place in the deep-freeze, with pretty little changing on the ground.
A grievous wound intentionally left to fester for future political opportunism – a sickeningly recurring symptom of the ‘Shadow state of Nehruvian British East India’. Similar issues have rocked other North-Eastern states too from time to time.
No doubt, the Assamese and other North-Eastern citizens were the first ones to protest fearing that with CAA in place, only some not all – based on religion – of the Bangladeshi immigrants would be repatriated potentially threatening their regional, social, cultural and linguistic identity.
Pretty soon, the protests erupted in those parts of the nation where there were no such concerns. With almost all political parties across the entire political spectrum, including the Shiv Sena, finding common causes with those protests, the quick-thinking Assamese realised three fait-accompli.
One, other than the BJP, no political party intends to deport even one single illegal immigrant. Rather they have a huge soft-corner for these illegal infiltrators more so for Muslim infiltrators.
Two, thirty-four years of studied inaction on the Assam accord has practically already resulted in irreversible damage to their social, cultural, regional and linguistic fabric that can’t be wished away now.
Three, their continued protests would certainly result in them ending up as a tool in the hands of powers decidedly antithetical to Assamese interests. Even within Assam, the protests could easily be hijacked by those very infiltrators that the natives would wish to deport back.
Now, an average Assamese feels relieved at his real foes having been exposed. With this realisation, he becomes impervious to the machinations of the ‘Shadow state of Nehruvian British East India’. Thank god for this silver lining. More such benefits to follow.
The Spirit of the Constitution (including Articles 14 & 15) Argument
Of all the arguments cited, this one takes the cake of being the most inane, almost bordering on the insane. It seems that this debate is well set to set a new normal in our public discourse, “the more ludicrous the argument, the more often it would be reiterated”.
By what logic, “WE THE PEOPLE OF INDIA” shall mean the people of undivided India and even the people of the entire world? They seek to apply the right of equality before law to the entire world population. It is fine only if they wish to undo the partition itself or if they wish to create a borderless world order, on the high ideal of “vasudhaiva kutumbakam”. Anything short of that and it is the GIFE – the greatest intellectual fraud ever.
Just for the sake of argument, let’s examine Article 14. A brain-blanked-out Ajmal Kasab entered India illegally, killed innocent Indians wantonly. Once over-powered and arrested, even a terrorist like him was accorded the best of the medical treatment, publicly funded legal counsel and a right to fair trial. During captivity, he was well fed and well looked after. This is Article 14 in all its glory. Stretching this to mean that Article 14 calls upon the Indian state to proactively encourage a de-facto disrespect of its territorial borders and announce to the world that each and everyone should head towards India and make India their home as and when they like would be insanely ludicrous, to say the least.
The Article 14 apologists care little about this warped logic of theirs conflicting squarely with their own glibly stated ‘strained economic and natural resources’ arguments, their ‘collapsing economy’ canards and their ‘rising rural distress and unemployment’ ruse. Such arguments are used only to mislead the young, gullible students at the colleges and universities to agitate them over the ensuing floods of Hindu refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, as if these countries have huge populations of Hindus.
On top of all that, just a few months back, India had a rabidly ‘intolerant’ ‘majoritarian’ government and society turning against its ‘minorities’ – leading to selective activism like the ‘Award Wapsi’ crap. Height of sleight of fake narrative, now that very same India is a coveted destination for the persecuted Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims from Pakistan and the impoverished Sunni Muslims from Bangladesh. What to say of the large number of Rohingya Muslims – rebuked and snubbed by all Muslim countries of the world – already feeling cosy in India. It is a real shame that Modi-Shah are devilishly obstructing their free-flow to this land of final refuge.
This Article 14 argument is also the most disingenuous. To the uninformed, it seeks to convey the idea that there is absolutely no way for a persecuted Pakistani Muslim – be they Ahmadiyya, Shia or even the bullying Sunni etc. – to get the Indian citizenship. They purposely paper over the high-profile case of singer actor Adnan Sami, what to talk of the hundreds of low-profile cases.
They clearly have a malintent in spreading this evil disinformation. It is CAA with the first A meaning ‘Amendment’. Amendment to an existing law requires the law to pre-exist to be so amended. Adnan Sami and many others who felt nauseated in the hell called Pakistan have been given Indian citizenship from time to time on a case to case basis. There has to be a valid reason for that person to apply for Indian citizenship. You simply can’t do that without a rhyme and a reason. The reason has to be duly established before a competent authority. And, this is as per the Nehruvian Indian Citizenship Act, 1956. So, was Nehru an illiberal?
With this CAA Amendment, now, the non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh (PAB Countries) would be presumed to have a valid reason – religious persecution, to be precise. While the Muslims from these PAB countries would not be presumed to have a valid reason. This doesn’t mean denial of citizenship to them. It only means following a well laid out procedure. When there is no dearth of harrowing tales or statistical and other evidence to prove beyond doubt a steadily falling minorities populations in PAB countries, this is a logical fallout. Votaries opposing this are either misguided ignorant fools or are spooked by the prospect of Pakistan’s pathetic track-record of its minorities’ safety getting emphatically exposed in the world.
To any careful observer, it is crystal clear that those who are now shedding copious crocodile tears for the persecuted Ahmadiyya, persecuted Shias and other smaller Muslim sects have been extra careful in not uttering a word on the brutally butchered Baloch, the aerially bombed Pashtuns and the ethnically decimated Sindhis.
It tells volumes about how much the ESTABLISHMENT fears Pakistan getting exposed.
Moreover, these very same advocates of equality have always been busy browbeating Hindus for being a divided house with all sorts of infighting, prejudices, internecine hatred, caste-discriminations, oppressions of sub-castes and what not while extolling Islam as a religion of ‘true peace’, ‘true equality’ and ‘real universal brotherhood’. Such is their desperation to oppose CAA that they have ended up exposing their own hypocrisy and the malintent behind building up such fake narratives.
It is a pity that CAA champions and supporters are yet to capitalise on their self-goals like this. This is the right opportunity to inform our youth about the loathsome attitude of Ashrafs towards Ajlafs and their combined inhuman treatment of Arzals and Pasmandas. On being so informed, most of our youngsters rub their eyes in disbelief and shake their heads in horror. For starters, there is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste_system_among_South_Asian_Muslims .
Also badly needed is a lucid comparison of the pre-CAA provisions of the Indian Citizenship Act and the post-CAA provisions of the so Amended Indian Citizenship Act. Frankly, it won’t take a huge legal acumen. It is just a matter of focus and intent. For the time being, one can see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_(Amendment)_Act,_2019 . Fearing more vandalising attacks, Wikipedia has to take steps to protect this page.
Vision of India’s founding fathers Argument
Father of the nation, Gandhi, along with Nehru, Patel and Ambedkar never meant or desired to desert fellow Indians who for no fault of theirs got divided into two countries, one of which was avowedly created on communal grounds. Though they hoped that Hindus and Sikhs in newly created Pakistan – West or East – would not be persecuted for simply being non-Muslims, they secretly nursed serious misgivings about their welfare.
This is amply reflected in their speeches and writings of that time, only waiting to be taken out and thrown into the faces of double-tongued appropriators and manipulators. All of our founding fathers, time and again, emphasised the duty of the Indian state to help in, if and when such a need arose, the Hindus and Sikhs from the then Pakistan. More than once, they reiterated it underlining the need to give such needy refugees – land, jobs, financial assistance et al – all necessary ingredients of a life of dignity. Post 1956, when almost all these greats have passed away, barring Nehru, little has been done in furtherance of this vision.
Champions in writing distorted history would never write about the fact that, Nehru, in his capacity as Indian Prime Minister, ordered a strict border vigil to ensure that no Muslim seeps into the Indian territory while no Hindu or Sikh entering India to be resisted at all. Rather, they were to be helped to safety and security. Now, CAA only goes a step further by extending that help to Jains, Bauddhs, Parsis and even Christians. So, why is CAA being assailed for violating the vision of our founding fathers?
It is high time the protestors are asked to clearly specify who they think of as the founding forefathers.
Indian Cultural Ethos Argument
Hats off to CAA, those who would never tire of mockingly asking about ‘the Idea of India’ are now rooting for the Indian Cultural Ethos of inclusiveness and universal brotherhood. Not only this, now they have also forgotten their oft-repeated dogma of India having been born on the midnight hour of 15th August 1947. Suddenly, India has acquired a cultural legacy of at least a few thousand years. Suddenly India’s cultural heritage has become something to be proud of, something that need to be preserved and nurtured.
Selective use of facts is a clear marker of intellectual dishonesty and ulterior motives. It is a pity that the CAA supporters have failed to seize this opportunity to remind these intellectual perverts about ‘respecting, nay worshipping the motherland’, ‘chanting Vande Matram’, ‘living in a peaceful coexistence’, ‘raising a grand temple to Shri Ram’ etc. are also inalienable strands of the Indian cultural ethos.
Doesn’t it point towards the historic nature of CAA that the brazen ‘beef festival’ organisers are now clamouring for Indian Cultural Ethos? It is time to tell them that it is no longer a convenient ‘one-way’ street for cherry-picking. Isn’t it surprising to see the tricolour burners now flooding the streets with a deluge of that same tricolour held high? Need one say more about how potent CAA can be? Tragedy is the Establishment knows it far better than the champions and supporters of CAA.
While the writer is all for the continuation of age-old cultural ethos, he is also for continuation of age-old wisdom. Wisdom lies in learning from history – both medieval as well modern.
Once upon a time, there used to be a nation called Faras (Persia in the anglicised version) with fire-worshipping Zoroastrians living there peacefully. Due to the internecine wars for dominance among the followers of the ‘religion of peace’ in the neighbourhood, the down and defeated sect sought asylum in Faras. The unsuspecting King and his council of ministers said yes. The ‘persecuted’ asylum seekers also wished for and got a right to practice their religion in their new home. Within the next 50 years, the out-numbered Zoroastrians lost their right to practice religion as fire-worshipping was deemed violative of the ‘religion of peace’. Those who dared to resist were massacred, those who chose not to convert had to flee. The only nation where they survived and prospered is India. Now, Faras or Persia is known as Shia-majority Iran.
Moral of the story, “be wise and be aware of who you allow as a refugee”.
Descendants of those Zoroastrian refugees are known as Parsis (from Persia). They have contributed enormously to various domains. The Tatas, the Godrejs, the Mistrys, the Iranis – to name a few – are all Parsis. So are Nadiadwalas, Screwalas, Palkhiwalas, Narimans.
Those who perversely try to pin the blame of Partition on Savarkar, need to be reminded of the British attempts to instigate the then Indian Parsi community to demand for a separate Parsi homeland. Considering, their small population size and their concentration along the western coast of India, they were promised the city of Bombay with some adjoining area as the Parsi homeland.
It was thanks to the sharp intellect and foresight of the Parsi community leaders that the British machinations could not succeed. More on this under secularism.
— End of Part Two —
Gopal Vinod ‘Learner’ is a graduate in commerce from Delhi University and a PG Diploma holder in English-Hindi translation from the same DU. He was born on the 25 th independence day. Exactly four months after his birth, East Pakistan became Bangladesh courtesy the Indian armed forces. View More
Featured Image Credit: https://m.tribuneindia.com/news/afghan-sikh-refugees-support-caa-18928