Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019

Those supporting the CAA have the following questions against anti-CAA protestors?

· We do not understand why they are protesting? CAA only talks of giving citizenship and not taking away citizenship. Then why the protests?

The issue is not whether it takes away citizenship through CAA alone. True it does not talk of the same. But the potential that it creates along with its twin brothers NPR and NCR. NPR creates a larger database from which list of doubtful citizens would be created. NCR places the burden of proving citizenship on those falling under doubtful citizen’s category. The burden of proof would likely fall on those belonging to the minorities, given that they would be seen as likely and probable people who have come from Pakistan / Bangladesh / Afghanistan and hence the need to prove that they have their roots here and only here. This will be less constraining with Hindus, who even if might have come from outside or fail to produce evidence will likely be accorded citizenship. Hence even if CAA does not take away citizenship directly, with its brothers NPR and NCR will likely do so.

· The protestors say why not Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan also be allowed. How can India allow everyone? Is it meant for charity? If we allow everyone, how can we take care of their needs? How can we provide them with necessities and employment?

But it is the Government itself trying to project itself as very considerate about the situation of people in the neighbouring countries. And hence its willingness to allow entry of non-Muslim communities to get Indian citizenship and getting them settled here. If it does not have any plan to take care of its citizens who already live here, then why this drama of calling non-Muslims from these countries to come down and settle here. The government has already played havoc with the economy.

· The protestors talk of Muslims. Muslims have their own countries. Which countries do Hindus have? They have no other country to go to, except India.

Indian Muslims consciously made a decision to stay back in India, when they got a chance to decide as to where to go in 1947. They preferred a Secular India to an Islamic Pakistan. Non-Muslims from other countries can still come to India if they feel persecuted, so too can Muslims. This particularly when India declares itself as a secular country, which means it cannot discriminate on religious basis.

· We are only against illegal migrants. Many illegal immigrants, particularly Muslims have come from these countries and pose a threat to India.

The numbers which are projected as those who have come even if considered as ‘illegal immigrants’ are magnified and pointed to be in many crores. Even if they have come as ‘illegal immigrants’ they have come in search of work. They may be employed as manual labourers, wage workers or street vendors. They may be working as hamalis, servers in hotels, construction workers or domestic help. Their presence only serves the economy. And their presence in no way threatens the country.

· When we Indians go outside, we go only as legal immigrants? This is not the case with them?

Whether it is middle class legal immigrants from India who go abroad or economically poorer class considered illegal immigrants who come to India, both move to other countries in search of better economic prospects. While for the former, it is for better economic returns and enrichment, for the latter it is for basic sustenance. Unfortunately, our own class biasness makes us believe that we are different, even if legal.

It would not be wrong to say in the CAA debate, that those who are supporting CAA have deeply hidden religious prejudices, even if one may or may not be a supporter of BJP. Deep down, a belief is held that ‘they should be shown their place’.

By An Indian Citizen



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