CAA protests: pulmonary rhetoric is a useless exercise – analysis
The current controversy over the Citizenship Law (Amendment) (CAA) and related issues should not surprise any analyst. There is always an established pattern in protests so well orchestrated. It is similar to the composition of water in a pot that has been simmered. Initially, only invisible quantitative changes occur as the water heats up. No one can observe any qualitative change visible in the water. However, when it reaches the boiling point, the water begins to show qualitative changes that are visible. Like water, these protests are not spontaneous, but reflect six years of heat administered by the ruling party.
To understand the genesis of the current turmoil, it is necessary to take into account the dilemma of a weak Opposition against a proactive political party with a clear political manifesto that ensured a large majority in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections. Riding the crest of A popular mandate, the ruling party highlighted certain benchmarks such as the repeal of article 370, the triple talaq ruling, the peaceful resolution of the Ayodhya dispute and the CAA. Left behind in terms of electoral support in Parliament, the Opposition has no choice but to seek any meeting point against the ruling party outside Parliament, either in Shaheen Bagh or Jantar Mantar.
Harish Salve has clearly stated that the CAA is quite defensible in the face of any challenge to its constitutionality. So do a lot of impartial legal luminaries. It makes no sense to go to the merits of claims and counterclaims when the matter is before the Supreme Court. However, if the protests continue to cause great inconvenience to people and harm the global image of India, this is a matter of great concern.
In international diplomacy, there is no shortage of forces working to bring down an emerging India. The current situation has allowed them to drive to India. It is quite shameful that we are subject to partial and opportunistic criticism in foreign media. At the time the protesters projected cracks in our politics, anti-Indian forces seized the opportunity to harm India politically and economically.
The Prime Minister declared on the floor of the House that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Ram Manohar Lohia and many other unconditional ones had ensured the return of persecuted non-Muslim minorities of Muslim nations after the Partition of India by religious motives . The current position adopted by its supporters is diametrically opposed to that of its own leaders.
This is not the first time that religion has been used as a tool to generate disturbances and violence in India. Whatever the secular rhetoric, one cannot blame legislation that does not discriminate between religious minorities persecuted for fostering religious discrimination. Muslims cannot be considered a religious minority persecuted in a Muslim state and are granted citizenship under the proposed fast-track mechanism. The normal legal procedure to apply for Indian citizenship is still open for them.
The emotional protests that arise from the accumulated political frustrations may have no legal basis, but this is what prevails today. India is in fact fundamentally a secular country. India did not suddenly become secular after the word “secular” was added to the preamble of our Constitution. Secularity is a concept enshrined in articles 25 to 28 of the Constitution, where religious freedoms subject to public order, morality and health have been granted.
If certain sectors of the people are allowed to discredit constitutional bodies such as Parliament and the Supreme Court, and duck in the streets until constitutional institutions begin to sing their song, this will mark the end of a strong and united India .
The author is a former chief secretary of the government of Punjab, India.
The opinions expressed are personal.