A Lot Is Wrong With The Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) seems to have taken the country by storm. The Bill hasn’t been received well by the minorities. Many believe the Bill is ‘undemocratic’ and aims to hamper the nation’s integrity.

People believe that the country is fast turning into a majoritarian state (much like the Sinhala-led Sri Lanka). Recently, Assaduddin Owaisi, the leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), tore a copy of the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The AIMIM chief believes that the Bill will divide the country into countless fragments.

The CAB hasn’t been well received by the minority communities because it violates the constitution.

Here is how the Citizen Amendment Bill (CAB) violates the Indian Constitution:

First and foremost, the Bill violates Article 14 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality to people (Indians and foreigners). Categorising people along religious lines violates Article 14 of the constitution.

Next, the classification of people along religious lines is unjust. Classifying people based on religion is against the idea of secularism, unless the govt. wants to turn the country into a radical Hindu state.

India is a secular state, and the same has also been mentioned in the Preamble. The Preamble is the guiding light that helps interpret the constitution.

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Furthermore, the Bill also ends up violating the Assam Accord of 1985 by granting citizenship to illegal immigrants (on the basis of religion) who came here before December 31, 2014. The CAB clearly violates the Assam Accord, which says that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh (those who came after March 25, 1971) will be deported.

The CAB will also nullify the impact of the National Register of Citizen (NRC) in the state of Assam if people, who were left out of the final list, are given citizenship through the CAB.

In recent times, the Election Commission and the Assam Border Police have labelled many as illegal immigrants (many of them happen to be Hindus). The govt has proposed to drop all of the charges against the Hindus, which means only Muslims will be deemed as ‘foreigners’ by the law. Earlier, the contracts of those classified as ‘foreigners’ were terminated by the BJP. Now, we’ll have only Muslims standing before the Tribunals, which will make the exercise even more unjust and discriminatory. 

The curious case of the Lankan Tamils

The problem doesn’t end here. More than 2.5 million Lankan Tamils have been excluded from the list. Why isn’t the govt paying attention? The Lankan have witnessed some of the bloodiest struggles in the history of mankind. They ought to be included in the CAB if it is a genuine attempt to grant citizenship to the Hindus.

Culturally, the Tamils in Sri Lanka have a lot in common with the Tamils in India (The language and diction might differ a bit). Most importantly, Indian Tamils will be more than happy to welcome their long-lost brothers from the island nation, then why has the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ denied citizenship to the Hindus in Sri Lanka? And, why is nobody questioning this? Recently, Tamil actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan questioned the govt’s intentions after the Lankan Tamils were not included in the CAB. 

Possible reasons

Tamils aren’t considered a vote bank by the Bhartiya Janata Party. They account for little in BJP’s Hindu Rashtra because a majority of them do not speak Hindi. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is not a Muslim-majority country wherein the Hindus are being suppressed. As long as Muslims don’t come into the picture, the issue does not make it to the BJP’s list of priorities.

To draw the curtains

Simply put, the Bill isn’t a symbol of BJP’s love for the Hindu population residing in the neighbourhood. It is a tool that has been meticulously designed to pin-point the Muslims. The CAB seeks to achieve what the NRC could not. It seeks to disintegrate the country by alienating the Muslims. 

It’s About Time Youngsters Start Taking Politics Seriously

India’s political landscape is changing. Every second day, we see a political unrest rocking the world. A political leader lands in controversy. Protests are organised, petitions are signed, seminars are held, but at the end of the day, we find it hard to find a solution. 

Ever wondered what the problem is? The problem is: youngsters aren’t interested in politics. Well, we can’t blame the youngsters. Almost every year, we see chairs being thrown by our respected MPs during Rajya Sabha meetings. No matter how disinterested you are, you can never run away from politics. Political decisions keep affecting you throughout your lives.

The moment your high school is over, you get yourself enrolled in a university. Quite frankly, it is quite easy to keep political developments at bay during graduation. As a student, political events taking place in and around the country never caught my attention. During graduation, we had 10,000 different things to look into. All of us wanted a job, and that’s about it. And so, in a quest to get our hands on a lucrative job offer, we distance ourselves from anything that’s even remotely political. 

The Truth (Well, Yes)

No matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to run away from politics. Politics is all pervasive. Suppose a housing bill is passed. It will affect all the students who plan to buy a new house. Furthermore, if metro fares are hiked by the AAP govt in Delhi, students commuting through the rapid transit are bound to get affected and so on and so forth. You know what they say about “personal being political”? One cannot escape politics and one must not either.

The Necessity Of Being Politically Aware

As students, we need to make our presence felt. It forms an important part of growing up. Start speaking about what you believe in. Universities provide you with an excellent platform to make yourself heard. Discuss, debate, critique policies and statements by our leaders. Not everybody needs to become an MP. You need to stay on top of the political developments because all of these developments, no matter how small or insignificant they might appear, will end up affecting you in the long run. 

I remember attending a seminar at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi back in 2012. Arun Jaitley (Minister of Finance 2014-2019) had been invited has the chief guest. He was an Honorable Member of Parliament back then. He spoke on Public Accountability and Legal Reforms in India. I was asked to attend the lecture because many of my batchmates were on leave and some wanted to simply reach home a bit early. I decided to attend the lecture in order to grab some chai and samosa. That lecture, I must admit, rekindled my interest in politics. The lecture was enjoyable. It kept it me on the edge of my seat. I was so engrossed that I completely forgot about the chai-samosa. Today, I make it a point to keep myself abreast of all the political developments.

But Why Aren’t Youngsters Interested In Politics?

Politics doesn’t sound exciting. There’s a belief that Indian politics does not do anything for the welfare of its citizens. Most of us think that politicians are busy lining their pockets. This happens to be a common belief. Furthermore, the country’s current political landscape does not take every youngster into account. It goes without saying that a lot of political debates fail to attract youngsters. They aren’t ‘exciting’, but the lack of excitement certainly cannot undermine the importance of such debates. Just once in your life, go and attend a seminar, a debate, or a protest, and your outlook towards politics will change. 

As far as the protests are concerned, the contemporary student activist has a host of resources at his disposal. Gone are the days when dharnas and hunger strikes were organised to protest against oppressive governments. Today, all we need to overthrow a government is a successful, channelised social media campaign. If there are enough signatures on an online petition, then the parties in question will have to step down. Power cannot be retained if people go against you. Hierarchies can be broken today, and that’s a luxury we didn’t have earlier.

The decisions taken by those in power will take years to come into force. Many of the decisions will be implemented only after you’ve graduated. Nothing will change overnight, but being politically aware and active will always help you stay on top of the game. If an oppressive government comes into power, a politically-informed citizenry can make it bite the dust.

Questions aplenty as Nirav Modi pulls off a dramatic heist…

The big news is that despite the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) claims that public sector banks are well-prepared to deal with monetary frauds post the infamous Vijay Mallya fiasco, jeweler Nirav Modi has been able to dump the authorities by stealing somewhere close to INR 11,500 crore in driblets of foreign currency.  What comes as a bigger surprise is the fact that neither the internal auditors nor the people in power were able to unearth the fraud. Continue reading “Questions aplenty as Nirav Modi pulls off a dramatic heist…”

A state of intolerance…

 Filmmaking is rightly considered a profession allowing the creative juices to flow out of people. It provides people with the widest extent of unleashing their creativity. A director puts his creativity to use in an attempt to create a world of his own. A film maker takes all sorts of cinematic liberties (He’s bound to). Historical depictions are subject to a considerable amount of distortion. History is something which is always created. Distorting history can prove extremely fatal. The recent attack on director Sanjay Leela Bhansali comes as a wake-up call that Hindu extremism is no longer a myth, but a harsh reality.

Continue reading “A state of intolerance…”

Politics: A game of wordplay

It’s an age old fact that with one’s choice of words, one can win over the hearts and minds of people. Words are enough to deliver fatal blows and terrorize the masses. I believe those associated with history would be able to understand the point I’m trying to make. Adolf Hitler, the Fuehrer of Nazi Germany, mobilized the masses and sent the Germans to war. Continue reading “Politics: A game of wordplay”

A game of deception……

In my opinion, politics is more of a mind game than anything else. The supporters and the well wishers of almost all the political parties have this habit of flooding the social media circles with Scandalous, fake and malicious posts in order to frame their rivals. In response, those framed, would expose these charges as scandalous misinformation if not anything else. I, in all fairness, would like to believe that this process makes the masses realize that messages posted over various social media platforms cannot be trusted without verifying the facts and figures. Continue reading “A game of deception……”