By Siddhi Somani-
No fundamental right is scored out, no Muslims are blanked out and no single element of democracy is put a line through. The bill is for Indians, by Indians and protects the virtue of the all Indians out there! Students need to look at this matter with clear lenses, all in the spirit of Indian democracy!
The so called 'peaceful' protest by students at Jamia, AMU against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 enters fourth consecutive day today and the proximity of the same seems burning pan-India, including the cities of New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru and majorly the northeast. Also the CPI leader Kanhiya Kumar, ‘social activist’ Umar Khalid, who punctured student's faith in the democracy by 'Azadi' slogans back in 2016, have joined the protest, forcing Jamians to voice more sturdy against the CAA, 2019.
The crowd erupted in cheers yesterday when Kumar blatantly said the protests against the citizenship law would go down in history as the one that saved the Constitution. "If the NRC is implemented pan-India, we all will have to stand in long queues like the demonetisation days," he affirmed, missing the sense of the actual CAA, 2019 gazette. Raising his 'Azadi' slogans aloud, disturbing the peace himself, he also underlined that the amended citizenship law and the NRC should be protested tooth and nail, but it should not veer off the path of peace.
While there are certain fake reports to prove that the protest at Jamia and AMU is neutralist and harmless, it is definitely shaking the tranquillity of a stable, common youth, who barely has base idea of the political administration. So much so that Sana Ganguly, daughter of cricketer and BJP bearer, Sourav Ganguly shared an excerpt from Khuswant Singh's 'The End of India' on Instagram, delivering her undue support to the students.
"Every fascist regime needs communities and groups it can demonize in order to thrive. It starts with one group or two. But it never ends there. A movement built on hate can only sustain itself by continually creating fear and strife. Those of us today who feel secure because we are not Muslims or Christians are living in a fool's paradise. The Sangh is already targeting the Leftist historians and Westernized youth", she noted.
"Tomorrow it will turn its hate on women who wear skirts, people who eat meat, drink liquor, watch foreign films, don't go on annual pilgrimages to temples, use toothpaste instead of danth manjan, prefer allopathic doctors to vaids, kiss or shake hands in greeting instead of shouting 'Jai Shri Ram'. No one is safe. We must realize this if we hope to keep India alive," Sana added probably unknown of what actual CAA gazette is and how this protest demeans the amendments.
What the CAA gazzete actually say?
In the Citizenship Act, 1955 in section 2, in sub-section (1), in clause (b), the following proviso has been inserted namely-
"Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act"
In what way does it benefit Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from these three countries?
All those legal migrants whose travel documents are complete, including the aforementioned minority communities from three countries were and are and will continue to be eligible to apply for Indian citizenship if they fulfil the qualifications laid down in The Citizenship Act, 1955.
The CAA has not changed this situation whatsoever. Only some migrants from the aforesaid communities and countries will benefit from the CAA if they have incomplete or no documents or their documents have expired and they have taken shelter in India because of persecution on grounds of religion up to December 2014. They have been excluded from the definition of 'illegal migrants' in The Citizenship Act, 1955. Unlike other foreigners, they are eligible to get citizenship after a total residency period of six years. For other foreigners, this period is twelve years.
Will illegal Muslims immigrants from these three countries be automatically deported under this Law?
The CAA has absolutely nothing to do with the deportation of any foreigner from India. The deportation process of any foreigner irrespective of his religion or country is implemented as per the mandate of the Foreigners Act, 1946 and, or The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. These two laws govern entry, stay movement within India and exit from India of all foreigners irrespective of their religion or country.
Therefore, the usual deportation process would apply to any illegal foreigner staying in India. It is a well-considered judicial process that is based on a proper inquiry by the local police or administrative authorities to detect an illegal foreigner. It is ensured that such an illegal foreigner has been issued a proper travel document by the embassy of his country so that he can be duly received by officials of his country when he is deported.
With this there remains a significant fact to note that the bill no way affects the Muslims in India, or from the above mentioned three countries. "Muslims from these three and all other countries can always apply for Indian citizenship and get it if they are eligible. The CAA has not stopped any foreigner from any country from taking citizenship of India provided he meets the existing qualifications under the law. During the last six years, approximately 2830 Pakistani citizens, 912 Afghani citizens, and 172 Bangladeshi citizens have been given Indian citizenship", the MHA noted the other day.
"Many hundreds of them are from the majority community in these three countries. Such migrants continue to get Indian citizenship and shall also continue to get it if they fulfil the eligibility conditions already provided in the law for registration or naturalization. About 14,864 Bangladeshi nationals including many from the majority community were also granted Indian citizenship after incorporating more than fifty enclaves of Bangladesh into Indian territory post the boundary agreement between the two countries in 2014", it added.
With this, it is absolutely clear that those protesting out there in Jamia and AMU either have no grip about the said amendment or they, soothing to their comfort, have tapped erroneous conceptions under the covering sheaths. Also the Congress party and its allies are cornering the BJP to make this significant bill a law that protects the interest of those persecuted minorities without harming the rights and duties of the extant.
Serving the bill back in year 2003, Congress's Manmohan Singh himself in Rajya Sabha had proclaimed that granting citizenship to unfortunate minorities who were facing persecution in neighbouring countries were to be dealt with a liberal approach. Speaking about the treatment of the refugees, Singh had said, "After the partition of India, the minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people to seek refuge in India. Our approach to seek granting citizenship to unfortunate people should be more liberal.
The question to raise here is why Congress hypocritically is opposing the CAA 2019 now, when the ruling government has proposed the same they demanded in 2003? Further here comes a fact to note that the Congress party has been playing political gimmick in come what may state of affairs. May it be 'Chowkidaar Chor he' jibe towards PM Modi during the LS elections, may it be the Rafale deal sitch, demeaning economy and the worst whip, lately the Savarkar politics.
Fondly named as the Italian puppet, the INC, the Jamians and the AMU students need to look at this matter with clear lenses, all in the spirit of India and it's constitution. No fundamental right is scored out, no Muslims are blanked out and no single element of democracy is put a line through. The bill is for Indians, by Indians and protects the virtue of the all Indians out there!