The irony is that the rules on the basis of Act passed in Parliament is yet to be approved. But the Nation already gripped with tensions with consequences of these ' approved rules'. Nobody bothers to check with authenticity of the news coming through various communication methods. Root cause of the main problem is immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan are divided into two, one minorities in those countries and another Muslims from those countries. The former was eligible for fast track and enmasse entry into Indian citizenship whereas the later should apply along with other immigrants as per other sections in the Act. Even Hindus other than these countries also must come through other sections in the Act.
The essence of this Amendment is favouring one category of people among total immigrants. Government explain the reasons and grounds on which this amendment was passed. However it has become an anger to others. It is but natural if we go through human psychology. Though it is not applicable to Indian citizens, a false impression was created asif the citizenship of Indian Muslims will also be impacted with this provision. It is based on two grounds. One, why only Muslims were excluded from the amendment. Though Government elaborately explained the reasons, Muslims were easily fall to prey to the campaign because their religious people were excluded only. Second, NRC with CAA is being looked into as an exercise to exclude Muslims from citizenship. Muslims easily fall to prey to this campaign because Assam NRC is before them. Also, the recent social agenda implemented by Modi in the first six months of second term added to this mindset. Abolition of Triple Talaq, Abrogation of Article 370 and Handing over of Ayodhya site to Hindus by Supreme Court made the Muslims, particularly conservative Mullas and Maulanas, suffocated and felt discriminated.Let us analyse these aspects.
Grounds for apprehensions in Muslims
Favouring one category of people over the other. It happened right from the beginning. To illustrate, minorities in India favoured with certain provisions where Hindus were not considered on par. Right to Education Act exempted minority institutions from its purview and these institutions are free to follow their own systems without scrutiny. Endowment Act exempted Churches and Mosques from its governance whereas Hindu temples were under Government control. If the people who are arguing for equality of all irrespective of religion, these acts also liable to struck down along with CAA. But it is not true. Reasonable classification made these minority institutions walking away rom equality clause. Likewise, reasonable classification may come to the rescue of CAA. Anyway, let us leave it to Supreme Court which is going to hear the petitions soon. Keeping apart from legal aspect, favoring one category should not become an irritation to others. Favouring to minorities in India or minorities elsewhere is based on certain criteria. Favouring minorities in India should not be an eyesore to Hindus in India , similarly favouring minorities in neighbouring countries should not be an eyesore to Muslims in India.
The exclusion of Muslims from Register of Citizenship is also based on wrong presumptions and assumptions.Let us take Assam example. All 19 lakhs identified in Assam are not Muslims. It contains Bengali Muslims, Bengali Hindus and also Hindi speaking erstwhile Indian origin people. Most importantly, some natives are also not listed in the Register. So, the NRC of Assam did not discriminate people on the basis of religion. At the same time, it was not foolproof. Many loopholes are there and some innocent people might have excluded from the list. What are the apprehensions to Muslims basing on this NRC? As on now, even rules of CAA are not yet finalised. NRC is at nascent stage. Intent only announced. It was not conceptualised yet. How can it be assumed that it excludes Muslims? May be on one ground they developed apprehensions. That is minorities from neighbouring countries on submitting Affidavit will be exempted but Muslims from neighbouring may be excluded. Their apprehensions may be true. But it applies to illegally entered people from neighbouring countries. As far as Indians are concerned, the rules will be same for all people without any discrimination. Where this apprehension to Indian Muslims? If at all, poor people irrespective of religion may be vulnerable. It will be known how far this will be addressed by Government when they formalised the Bill and subsequent rules after adoption of BIll. Till that time, all assumptions are baseless and fear mongering. It serves the purpose of certain vested interests only.
Who incite Muslims?
People mainly agitating are Muslims because they got apprehensions about their future. These apprehensions and rumours were spread by two types of people. One, parties who are waiting in desperation to corner Modi on an emotional issue which may trigger people's unrest. Second, Islamic fundamentalists who are also waiting in desperation to polarise Muslims on religious basis. This Act was well utilised by both of these categories to exploit the situation in their favour. Initially, it was political elements who incited the Muslims on false notions but gradually, it slipped from their hands and gone into the communal and fundamentalist elements. Till today, broadly Muslims are rallied under mainstream or regional political parties whose leadership is in the hands of Hindus only. At the same time, they are rallied under Muslim parties in certain pockets like Kerala, Assam, Hyderabad City. Very recently, Asaduddin Owaisi is trying to spread his wings in other States. The current agitation gave lot of scope to exclusive Muslim leaders oriented parties to emerge in the coming days. Particularly, West Bengal, UP and Bihar are the States where these exclusive parties may try their fortunes.
The explicit statements of these people do not reflect their real intentions. The political parties are digging their own grave. They expected mileage out of this turmoil but it may not happen. Their base may be eroded further in Hindus in Hindi heartland and Islamic exclusive parties may get portion of the cake from Muslim voters. Ultimate loser is these parties. Moreover, the track record of these parties speaks its hypocrisy. Congress and its leaders on several occasions spoke in favour of citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs coming from neighbouring countries. Left parties , particularly from Bengal spoke on several occasions in favour of them including passing resolution in Kozhikode All India session of their Conference. Secondly, their secular credentials are questionable when they did not include the plight of Kashmiri Pandits in their Agenda of communal politics. They are comparing Modi with Hitler and Nazis. It has become a fashion to make such statements without understanding context specifics. If at all any comparison is to be made linking with Nazis that is Kashmiri Pandits issue. In the name of ethnic cleansing, one religious community was totally eliminated from the Valley through killings, rapes, open hangings of dead bodies and making lakhs of people flee out of fear. If it is not Nazi action of ethnic cleansing like Jews what is it be called? Any secular proclaimed person can answer this? Secularism is not vote catching and populistic concept , it is noble to its ideology when it was followed in letter and spirit. Suspecting the motives of person, when comparing with Nazis, what concrete action taken by these 'secularists' to send back these hapless creatures to Kashmir? Any collective agitation conducted to pressure Government? In recent anti-CAA agitation, there were processions in Kerala displaying photos of Hindu Gods and crushing them under feet out of anger by some fundamental elements.What was the reaction of ruling CPM and opposition Congress to such provocative actions? How can any one believe secular credentials of these parties when they are silent on such incidents happened before their eyes? Credibility of your explicit intentions will be under test if you do not equally respond to the communal incidents whether it is done by either Hindus or Muslims. The other extreme incidents against Muslims were not mentioned here because these were already highlighted by these parties. Any communal action is condemnable irrespective of its origins. Selective criticism will erode the credibility of very noble concept.
The second category of people who are inciting Muslims is fundamentalist and exclusive groups. Some of them are holding the banner of national flag and constitution. It is a welcome step. But their convenient and opportunistic postures are well known. A simple example. When they uphold the Constitution and respect to Constitution, how can they argue in Supreme Court that their personal laws are above Constitution? History can not be forgotten simply. Dr Ambedkar wanted Uniform Civil Code in the country and tried his best in Constituent Assembly. It was these fundamental elements who opposed any reforms in Islamic personal laws. He succeeded in bringing reforms in Hindu personal laws but failed in getting reforms in Islamic personal laws. If the vision of Dr Ambedkar fulfilled, vast masses and particularly women would have been benefited in Islamic society. Fundamentalists would have been in back seat in Islamic society. Such people coming as saviours of community is not good for Muslims.
CAA can be avoided?
Another argument is developed by some intellectuals that this CAA should have been avoided in the interest of Nation. This argument is opportunistic and evasive. Problem of illegal immigrants is kept pending by successive Governments since very long time. Some day or other, it should be fixed. In fact, we must appreciate Modi for trying to fix it. Second, no country will be safe without database of its citizens. India is poor in maintenance of its database. Here, everything for everyone. Anyone can get Aadhar Card, Voter Card, Ration Card , Driving License. They may not be citizens of this country but they are accessible to all these documents. Recently arrived Rohingya Muslims are also able to get these documents. It happened in Hyderabad itself. Are we not sensitive to this situation in the country? Postponing of these issues for the sake of convenience is dangerous phenomena.
What is the solution?
India needs bold decisions, India needs strong database, India needs effective national mechanism, India needs unity on national issues. Citizenship and NRC are national issues. Approach of political parties should be broader on national issues. No political angle should be thought of by ruling as well as opposition parties. Party in power has more responsibility in carrying the national issues to the doorstep of opposition parties. Opposition should have more open minded to receive Government ideas on national issues. This should be basic approach of both sides on national issues. In this present context, It is a fact that there is trust deficit between present Government and Muslims. Government must take more serious steps to remove this trust deficit. Simply blaming opposition is not helpful. Also, Government should have framed rules to CAA act by this time. Delays will create more suspicions. Let Government be proactive and dynamic in thinking and implementation. People will ultimately come in line and understood good motives of this Act.