(My posts in FB/Twitter on CAA/NRC)
Religion is no test of nationality, but a personal matter between man and his God. In the sense of nationality they are Indians first and Indians last, no matter what religion they profess.
– Gandhi (Harijan, 29-6-1947)
It seemed relevant when I posted this 6 years ago, and sadly, even more pertinent now.
This probably is a great antidote to the Godse-eulogizing seen on FB and elsewhere.
Ram Manohar Lohia, not exactly an unquestioning acolyte of Gandhi, and a bitter critic of Nehru, on Hindu fanaticism and Partition :
‘Opposition of fanatical Hinduism to Partition did not and could not make any sense, for one of the forces that partitioned the country was precisely this Hindu fanaticism. It was like the murderer recoiling from his crime, after it had been done.
Let there be no mistake about it. Those who have shouted loudest of Akhand Bharat, the present Jan Sangh and its predecessors of the curiously un-Hindu spirit of Hinduism, have helped Britain and the Muslim League partition the country, if the consequences of their acts and not their motivations are taken into account. They did nothing whatever to bring the Muslim close to the Hindu within a single nation. They did almost everything to estrange them from each other. Such estrangement is the root cause of Partition. To espouse the philosophy of estrangement and at the same time, the concept of undivided India is an act of grievous self-deception, only if we assume that those who do so are honest men.
[…] The opponent of Muslims in India is the friend of Pakistan.
‘We are not a nation built just by laws, or even by just laws, but by concord, no matter how difficult the times.’
An important, balanced essay by Sanjoy Hazarika to help understand the historical context and the current turmoil in Assam.
When students across the world are going on climate strikes and fighting for their futures, our students have been forced to fight for their present. It doesn’t matter who is affected and who is not. This fear is real. The rage and tears are real. The fight is for everyone. This government has bared its fangs. So has everyone who supports it, directly or indirectly.
Modi supporters need more saving from Modi-Shah than Muslims. They can only delay or deny citizenship to Muslims. But, Modi supporters, they are stripping you of your humanity. Save yourselves.
What would have happened/would happen if India had a state religion?
The statement of objects and reasons as given in the CAB, 2019 inadvertently paints this picture [Bold letters, mine]:
“The constitutions of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh provide for a specific state religion. AS A RESULT, many persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities have faced persecution on grounds of religion in those countries. Some of them also have fears about such persecution in their day-to-day life where right to practice, profess and propagate their religion has been obstructed and restricted.”
That’s precisely why this act must be opposed.
Any of you who want to give the benefit of doubt to the BJP government should watch these videos of Amit Shah on this link. (https://scroll.in/…/who-is-linking-citizenship-act-to-nrc-h…)
He cleverly plays with the words refugees and infiltrators, and often openly spews hatred. How can only Muslims from abroad (and those who can’t prove their citizenship) be infiltrators while all the rest are refugees?
The link between CAA and NRC is not an imaginary fear of the protestors. It is the stated objective of this government.
I am seeing BJP supporters updating their profile picture on FB with the slogan ‘I support CAB and NRC”. Not just CAA but ‘CAA and NRC’. In their minds the core BJP supporters are pretty clear on what their party is trying to achieve with this devious act.
It is not about inclusion. It is about exclusion. There is no doubt about it either for the protestors or for the core supporters. Those purporting to be in the middle are the ones who are attributing a certain goodness to this government, which it doesn’t even pretend to possess.
Democracy is as much about dialogue, disagreement, dissent, civil disobedience and protest as it is about voting once in 5 years or supporting the government. Any government which suppresses dissent with brute force is just fearful and nowhere close to being courageous or democratic.
The animated movie ‘The Point’ from the 1970s, now showing on Mubi, is a good, light philosophical musical for children and adults.
It is about a village where everyone/everything is pointed. A boy is born without a point. He rubs the conceited Count of the village the wrong way. The Count brandishes an old law which provides for expelling anybody without a point, and the boy is banished to a pointless forest as per that law. His faithful pointed dog is also banished for being a traitor in supporting him. The boy returns to show the pointlessness of the law.
A good way to initiate a discussion on CAA/NRC with children.
It is repeatedly said that NO Indian Citizen will be affected by CAA-NRC-NPR. A case can be made to show how all Indians will be affected. But really, should it matter only if Indian citizens are affected?
Even if not a single Indian citizen is affected but it discriminates against a section of immigrants, it should be opposed. Why is it so hard to get this?
Why only Hindus? Let us follow due process and help as many as we can irrespective of their religion.
Pakistan has declared themselves as Islamic. We haven’t declared ourselves as Hindu. We can criticize what they do, we should influence them on how they treat their citizens; but within our country we have to treat all people, whether they are our citizens or immigrants or refugees, equally. I think it is a fair demand.
Yes, there are no simple solutions, especially in Assam where the problem is not religious. It needs patience, statesmanship and a participative approach. Which is why many people don’t trust this blatantly partisan government to do the best for everyone.
Combined with NRC, CAA is totally discriminatory, especially in the immediate context of Assam. As it is, we had an almost unsolvable problem in Assam, which demanded great statesmanship and patience, and not hasty laws and diktats. This complicates the situation there. And it could be replicated everywhere.
But by itself also, CAA is discriminatory. Persecution can be based on race, colour, religion, sect, language, caste or even ideology. To have a law only for religious persecution and to choose only specific neighbours and to leave out only a specific religion from the scope, beats me. Once a certain law is enacted, it becomes a precedent for future laws.
Too much media attention is on fixing the blame for JNU attacks on young students from ABVP. They could be mere tools. It does not help explain why the police were mute spectators and facilitators. Exposing the role of govt/police is more important.
If there is normalcy in Kashmir, you don’t have to spend so much time and money in taking diplomats to Kashmir to showcase it. Just turn on the internet, and they can see it for themselves from wherever they are.
Free Kashmir is ultimately about the right to self-determination. If internet and pizza are what they want, any govt would give it to them. But is that why Kashmiris have been shedding blood? If we have the courage to put this up on a placard, have the courage to own it up.
Indian SC has delegated the responsibility of stopping the accused to the victims, and that of determining the sentence to the convicts.