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Liberal, secular opposition to CAA must not allow room for Islamic and Left radicals

Legitimate questions about Modi govt’s new citizenship law can be raised only when India’s liberal class hasn’t caved into religious chauvinism of another kind.

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There’s justified concern about the Citizenship Amendment Act. For the first time in India’s history as an independent republic, religion has been introduced as a criterion of eligibility for citizenship, albeit for migrants from India’s Islamic neighbours and not current Indian citizens. These migrants can be Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Christians – just not Muslims.

What makes the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) controversial is the Narendra Modi government’s promise of bringing in a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), which would require everyone to produce documents validating their citizenship. It’s legitimate to worry that the combination of CAA and NRC will disenfranchise primarily Muslims, since other religious groups will have the cover of the new citizenship law even if they can’t produce documents required under the NRC exercise.

It’s clear that the CAA and the prospect of a nationwide NRC represent a fundamental shift in the secularism embedded in India’s Constitution. Protests against the CAA have gripped many parts of India, starting with Assam and then moving to Delhi and elsewhere. While the majority of protests seem to have gone off peacefully, unfortunately, some have turned violent and the police in a few instances appear to have used excessive force in quelling the demonstrations.

Also read: The global wildfire of street protests has finally reached India

Two faces of the protest

One of the early protests against the CAA that attracted widespread media coverage took place at Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) in Delhi. Details of exactly what happened remain murky, with allegations by some of the protesters against the Delhi Police and the suggestion that the protests may have been infiltrated by “outsiders” bent on causing trouble.

Two young women, Ladeeda Sakhaloon and Ayesha Renna, both students of JMI, emerged as “sheroes” and became the faces of the protests. They were captured on video protecting their male friend while standing up to the police. Many observers, including myself, lauded these women for their courage. The powerful image of women in hijab protecting their male colleague defied many stereotypes of an observant Muslim woman, and thereby captured the Indian public’s attention and admiration.

Soon after they became instant celebrities, we started to learn more about them from their Facebook pages, which revealed some disturbing and problematic information. Sakhloon, in one of her posts, appears to endorse the chanting of Islamic slogans “Allahu Akbar” and “Insha Allah” and much more problematically, appears to endorse the Mappila uprising under the British colonial rule.

Also read: Not Owaisi, not TMC, India’s Muslims must return to Congress after citizenship row

Countering religious CAA with religious slogans

It is of course true that both Insha Allah and Allahu Akbar are standard Islamic expressions used in common speech, but their use in the context of a protest against the religiously inspired CAA is obviously problematic. After all, the main objection to the CAA is that it brings religion in through the back door. How bizarre, therefore, to counter it by bringing in religion rather than espousing secular values.

As worrying as this is, far more problematic is the apparent endorsement of the Mappila uprising, which occurred in 1921 in Kerala. The inspiration of the rebels was explicitly Islamic; they specifically targeted Hindus, butchered some and forcibly converted others, with the end goal being the creation of an Islamic State. The fact that the roots of the rebellion may have been economic can’t blind us to the reality of what motivated the rebellion and the ideology that governed it.

One would have thought that when these facts on the women’s views became known, mainstream supporters of the protest movement would back away, and some did. However, many others doubled down on these problematic sheroes, some even excusing the Mappila rebels as “freedom fighters” and denying that the overt religiosity of the two women could have a damaging effect on the credibility of the protests.

Also read: Violence over citizenship law ebbs in Bengal, but Mamata-Governor war of words continues

Losing legitimacy to far-Left

In the end, this was a self-goal by the protesters in their movement against the CAA, and perhaps we should not have been surprised. Liberal opposition to the Modi government, starting in 2014, has been contaminated and delegitimised by the inclusion of the far-Left, radical, Communist and Islamist elements whose philosophies are no more in keeping with India’s secular traditions than an extreme Hindutva position would be. At least the Indian far-Right is honest about its ideology and religious motivations and does not pretend to pay lip service to Nehruvian secularism. However, liberals who shield radicals in their ranks are hypocritical and dishonest about their motivation and this only serves to discredit such opposition in general.

Going forward, legitimate liberal and secular opposition to the CAA and the NRC must purge itself of radical and extreme elements whose only purpose is to further polarise the issue and not to find a sensible, centrist middle ground that all reasonable people can agree on. If this doesn’t happen, the protest movement against the CAA will lose all credibility in the eyes of the Indian public and that would be a shame. There are many legitimate questions to be raised about the CAA but this can only be done by upholding India’s secular traditions and not caving into religious chauvinism of another kind.

Rupa Subramanya is an economist and commentator based in Mumbai. She tweets @rupasubramanya. Views are personal.

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  1. Their can be ignorant opposition to CAA, who think CAA is in conflict with their incorrect perception of constitution and secularism.
    Their can be fanatic opposition to CAA, who simply want non-muslim minorities in Islamic neighbors to die, yes those kind of people exist.
    Their can be opportunistic opposition to CAA, celebrities, politicians and hand me a dollar intellectuals trying to cater to above two categories for their own petty benefits.
    Their can be leftist/marxist/communist opposition to CAA, who often bet on the fault lines and try to break the harmony so the situation is ripe for a civil war a.k.a revolution.
    What is not possible is to have a secular opposition of CAA, because the very stand of the opposition is anti-refugee, anti-humanitarian in nature., and secularism is too weak an excuse to be a pillar to hold this palace of cards.

  2. A pernicious article that masquerades the recycled propaganda of sanghis in secular clothing. (1) Why shouldn’t musilm protesting woman hold religious convictions? (2) why shouldn’t the so called far left not protest against CAA? (3) Which group does the author say will be disenchanted by religious Muslims and far left in the anti-CAA protest? Or is it the author herself? Article appear like Sanghi sabotage.

  3. The attitude this author represents in this article is what is called patronising. She finds all the liberty to carry over the falsehoods of the Sangh version (I wonder if it is even a version) of history & then tries to build her narrative upon that. For instance, she is adamant to brand 1921 incidents of Malabar as some kind of ethnic cleansing. She is adamant on branding any expression of religious symbolisms by Muslim protestors as “chauvinism”. She persists with the lies of “partitioning India” in 1947 while it was merely two provinces of British India that was partitioned, that too upon Congress insistence & Indian republic had not existed prior to August 15 1947 in order to brand Pakistan formation as a result of “breaking India”. There was no condition of population transfer anywhere in Pakistan demand nor in the agreements during 1947 or after that to mention about “those who stayed back”. An entity called League which secured many seats in 1946 elections does not exist for the author – it is all one Mr Jinnah & the whole “rest of us” & his scheming that “broke India”. It would be ironic that this scheming villain had provided the seat for Dr Ambedkar to contest & win when her “founding father” heroes had wished him away. Shah Bano -related legislation is a dark spot for the author.
    The author would have to educate herself before offering to patronise others; it is quite difficult to keep a big community subjugated for long. She would have to contend in seeing them break shackles from the soft & hard Brahmanists. That is the writing on the wall.

    • What I now realize is that it is not just the BJP, Congress and the religious Mullahs that are keeping the Muslims back, but also the mainstream Indian media (with very few exceptions). Muslims will need a lot of intelligence to come out of this triple bind.

    • If India was partitioned at the insistence of Congress, what did Jinnah do? Why is he called Qaid-E-Azam in Pakistan.

  4. It is astonishing that none in the Indian media (left, center or right, including The Print) mentioned that there was a third woman who protected their friend being beaten up. She is a Hindu. I had to find it on the New York Times.

    Here is the excerpt:
    “While right-wing Hindus and governing party officials tried to paint the female students as radical Islamists, they conspicuously omitted that one was a Hindu. That student, Chandra Yadav, 20, studies Hindi literature and, like other secular Indians, also protested in opposition to the citizenship bill.

    “This fight is not about Ram or Allah,” Ms. Yadav said, referring to a Hindu deity.

    “This fight is for a state that is supposed to be for everyone, Hindu or Muslim,” she added. “As much as this country belongs to me, it belongs to Muslims.””

    Sometimes I wonder if the secular world in India is really for the Muslims. I think they have to fight their own battles along with Hindus who are their real friends. Chandra Yadav is evidently one of them.

  5. This article is a good example of why a Muslim would despair living in India.

    All of understand the approach of the BJP. They are openly communal. But more insidious are secular people like the current author. By innuendo, she implies that these two brave girls who protected their friend from the lathi blows of the police, are connected with Jehadis. How? Just because one of them talked about the Mappilah rebellion. Taking a complex event and simplifying it beyond any intellectual excuse, she condemns these women.

    The same event decried by the author as communal and political has been declared by the Kerala Government as a revolt against the British. Here is an extract from Wikipedia: “In 1971, the Government of Kerala[11] officially recognised the active participants in the events as “freedom fighters”.”

    For a person who doesn’t know the details (I didn’t till I read the Wikipedia article) it would seem after reading the author, that the whole Mappilah rebellion had to do mostly with the killing of Hindus and towards political aims. This is what she writes: “The inspiration of the rebels was explicitly Islamic; they specifically targeted Hindus, butchered some and forcibly converted others, with the end goal being the creation of an Islamic State. ”

    This is not expected from a person who professes to be secular. As a Muslim I would despair to live in this country. But where would I go? Sure enough there will be voices that would say: go to Pakistan. But I was *born* here.

  6. A radical is not a terrorist. He deeply feels the topic he is engaged. Must he be violent?? Left liberal and Islamic are not different from you or me. They have brain, they can think and they must be allowed to speak just like you expect to be allowed to do so. Over glamorizing, mobster this, Islamic that etc are all crap. This is a conceptual difference between Tom Dick pair and rest of India,

  7. Kudos on looking into the details of the women who were posturing in the press, while their previous postings reveal a disturbing history. How many know of the Chauri Choura incident and the extent to which Gandhi went to separate himself from violence? This is the surest path for those opposed to CAA to loose the support of those who supported Modi but aren’t ardent Hindutva supporters.

  8. Self labeled indian liberals and seculars have established themselves as new anti nationals i.e. they are doing all that was reserved for India’s enemies to do against India. It looks they have lost their easy source of income and are now indulging in violent ways to oppose the government.

  9. What does raising slogans have to do with anything. You views are that whenever Muslims protest there is a chance of terrorism! Most of your article makes sense but stating that the protest has radical views is wrong!

  10. Beautifully written article by Ms. Rupa Subramanya. Logical and lucid as ever. No wonder she gets under the skin of left liberals. Frankly speaking ultra left and ultra right may have different ideologies but their apparent outcome on citizenry is same. Shape in or shape out. Jamia violence bears the signature of ultra left and jihadists, who wanted to explode CNG cylinders of the DTC bus. If successful, the consequence would have been devastating for the neighbourhood. Police had entered the premises of the university, when despite repeated plea stone pelting did not stop. Once the raging bull had entered the campus, result is for everyone to see. Innocent students got beaten up. Government got bad name. Sheroes got a name for themselves, protecting probably an instigator of violence. Right had been disingenuous about CAA. Though inoccuous standalone, the act will be lethal when combined with NRC. Government should have at least held long discussion and attempted to persuade potential victims of the double barrel gun. It is the duty of the government to explain consequences, process, and way forward for those who fall through the crack. How does the prime minister hopes to win “Biswas” when a large section remain sceptical?

    • Abhijit-ji, if you see the truth behing CAA and NRC, why do you trust Godi media? why do you believe the Bus/CNG story? We definitely should condemn violence but to point fingers in our ranks – you-lefty/you-jihadi/you-sanghi is not something to be encouraged. UNITED we stand, divided we ….

      • The fact that bus at Jamia was not torched by police has been confirmed by NDTV and Barkha Dutt, two news portals generally trusted by those who are generally not pro establishment.

    • No doubt, outstanding article by Ms. Rupa Subramanya. And an equally balanced assessment of it by you abhijit. Kudos to the The Print team for choosing such a “spare no one ” piece. Despite being a BJP supporter, I am all for objectivity.

      • I had voted for BJP for pro development agenda, not for such a law that puts the nation into turmoil. Least Honorable PM and HM can do is to talk to people and allay their fears.

  11. Can media and left liberals take a short break from their frenzied posturing and enlighten the lesser liberals why freedom of expression for which they zealously guard for their tribe does not extend to Payal Rohatgi?

      • If you want her to be arrested for writing her opinion and her standpoint, then why cry about freedom of speech or lack of, fascism, dictatorship, and intolerance? When you speak the same language, why expect anything different? When something doesn’t suit your narrative, they must be arrested. But when met with “supposedly” the same treatment, people the likes of you become flag-bearers of speech and expression. Epitome of double standards and hypocrisy.

        • Gosh! How many readers here have problems of comprehension. I accepted what Ramu said when I wrote True.

          My comment was on what she has written in her post. That insults human intelligence. Did you read what she wrote?

          You accuse me of hypocrisy. I accuse you of lack of IQ. Unfortunately the Print is full of such people who comment without understanding what is written.

  12. Agree with Rupa Subramanya on this one. Many well meaning Indians will join a decent opposition group to bring healthy dose of realism in Indian politics where dreamy yet badly implemented programs can have its own opposition that suggests good alternatives. But when opposition to BJP shelters the left and islamic radicals under their liberal garb, the entire opposition loses sheen and standing in the eyes of well-meaning Indian citizens.

    In current CAA agitation, no one from opposition other than Shiv Sena expressed any desire to deal with illegal immigrants firmly and to follow legal process with neighboring countries so that they could be sent back properly. Many Indian citizens would not want the illegal immigrants to be ill-treated in detention camps and may suggest better alternatives while aligning with the needs to send them back eventually.

    Further having and sheltering the supporters of infamous Mopila uprising, supporters of Khalifas and supporters of setting up Islamic states or urban naxalites is a sure recipe to discredit entire opposition. Better sense must prevail. Rioting must stop. The agitators already lost respect and empathy of India’s supreme court.

  13. The Hindus were visited by a dire fate at the hands of the Moplahs. Massacres, forcible conversions, desecration of temples, foul outrages upon women such as ripping open pregnant women, pillage, arson and destruction – in short, all the accompaniments of brutal and unrestrained barbarism, were perpetrated freely by the Moplahs upon the Hindus until such time as troops could be hurried to the task of restoring order through a difficult and extensive tract of the country

      • That is relevant at present because the ideology that lead to moplah massacre and various other massacres of Hindus in the past still thrives in India. Until that ideology is uprooted, common Indian will support Modi.

        In fact, many of these protesters are followers of that ideology as this article shows.

          • Yeah, sure freedom fighters… Would you dare to say the same to my ancestors who fled their land to safe places and had to take out the guns and lathis to patrol and protect the remaining mortals after the riots? And now consider how elated we must be when we hear the swords of 1921 are still there with our butchers ready to be brandished, thirsty for blood.
            What a unique kind of morons we have in India

          • During the rebellion, the Moplahs killed hundreds of Hindus, many were forcibly converted, women wre raped and all the usual accompaniments of a religiously inspired jihad took place for that was what it was. Since you are obviously unread in Kerala history, you need to know that the Moplahs were declared freedom fighters by a leftist government for the usual reason – Muslim votes. They were that by no standards whatsoever. I speak from family experience

      • Try saying this to Jews “Oh you guys forget about Hitler and holocaust” they will show you your right place. Those who forget past tend to repeat those mistakes again. I am not asking to treat Muslims badly or lynch etc. they are human just like us, but those who believe Islam (or any other religion) cant be secular or liberal (How can some1 be liberal who believes in a religion which doesn’t consider Polytheists, Christians, Jews as Innocent human at all and also orders its followers to kill blasphemers or polytheists) Is that what liberalism is???????????? If that is liberalism then bhakts are as liberals as islamists.

        Muslims are good people in general but religions in general and Islam in particular is a mental illness. We must respect human rights, human life and their rights to hold certain beliefs but we don’t have to respect those beliefs itself. Every Idea or belief is subject to criticism or scrutiny. I agree We shouldn’t demonize people but we have all the rights to criticize any idea or belief. if you cant digest this simple Idea how can u be liberal? Its high time leftists should stop calling them liberal. Leftists are as radicalized as right wingers.

  14. These days muslim loving journalists and people are called liberals and seculars to whom saying Allahuakbar is secular but saying Jai shree Ram is right wing and fascist. So in this case too we have a Barkha or Sagarika calling themselves true liberals.

    • Hi Savy, please go join the closest protest tomorrow and chant both Allahuakbar and Jai shree Ram – I am sure the crowd will chant both with you. it all depends on how you say things – both can be used aggressively or peacefully. Let us reclaim Jai shree Ram and make it our slogan of resistance.

    • What is wrong in being a Barkha or a sagrika? There are plenty of people to hate Muslims what is the harm if some people “love” them?

  15. why try to divide again?let us forget “not this, not that”. let us all agree on issue-based collaboration in this protest.

  16. Glad author has commented on the Mappila uprising which leftist historians like Sumit Sarkar tried to reason as an “agrarian” uprsing.

    So blood curdling was the violence – rape, slaughter, forced conversions, destruction of temples — such that Annie Besant was disgusted with Gandhi for his deafening silence and refused to join the Khilafat movt which had been blessed by Gandhi.

    BR Ambedkar wrote thus on the Mappilas:

    “The Hindus were visited by a dire fate at the hands of the Moplahs. Massacres, forcible conversions, desecration of temples, foul outrages upon women such as ripping open pregnant women, pillage, arson and destruction – in short, all the accompaniments of brutal and unrestrained barbarism, were perpetrated freely by the Moplahs upon the Hindus until such time as troops could be hurried to the task of restoring order through a difficult and extensive tract of the country”

    • You have copy and pasted from Wikipedia. At least have the intellectual honesty to mention that. The same article in Wikipedia brings out the complexity of the whole rebellion.

        • because the persons responsible are today leading the country into disaster. no one blames ALL hindus for the gujrat riots, we blame the very people who were in power then and did nothing.

  17. Conflating far left opposition with imagined Islamic religiosity is the writer ‘s own figment and should be left at that. Dubbing mappila movement as largely religious battle which involved atrocities on the Hindus mainly belonged to the brahminical mind set and has probably its provenance in the accounts of the rebellion mostly penned by the high caste Brahmins and official press of the day . In short , this is an oversimplification of the incident and almost can be classed with he Hindu right ‘s attempt to paint Tipu as an Islamic tyrant rather than a freedom loving , modern ruler who passionately cherished independence. , The article reads more like a false flag operation by the Right, intended to break the ranks of a united opposition against the pernicious designs of BJP rather than strengthen its solidarity.

      • Died you read anything else on this massacre? There is nothing simple in history. Yes. It was bad that it happened to Hindus. But also see the Wikipedia article to see what also happened to Muslims. It was a tragedy for everyone.

        • Why do you paint a great politician like modi with a fanatic brush then? There is nothing simple in history. It was bad that it happened to Muslims. It was bad that Modi administration was overwhelmed by it. Even modi was a victim. Even the hindus were victims. 2002 riots were a tragedy for everyone.

          • They indeed were a tragedy for everyone. I can also believe that the Modi administration was overwhelmed.

            But just look at the number of Hindu-Muslim deaths: the proportion should tell you everything.

          • fine. but let us not let CAA/NRC become another great tragedy under his watch. oppose him now and save him from himself. if modi rolls back CAA/NRC, history may be kinder to him. so mr. modi-lover, come and join us in the streets to oppose caa/nrc.

    • It is not imagined islamic religiosity. Ladeeha is a member of SIO, “an ideological organisation working in the country for preparing students and youth for the reconstruction of society in the divine guidance”. Is it imagination to conclude that divine guidance is from Quoran, Shariat and Hadeeth? How are the values in this compatible with the Constitutional value.

    • Spoken like a true communist. Lenin used to say “First stick the convict’s badge on him, and only then try his case.’ Unleash foul abuse on opponents. If their account doesn’t suit you call them names like ‘Brahminist’ etc. Once you call them Brahminist, there is no need to answer their arguments. You would have us believe that the communists are descendents of Raj Harishchandra. They can tell Whoppers without blushing.

  18. Is CAA against the interest of Indian nationals or Indian citizens of any religion or regional area ? Then why people of India are opposing it ? As far as secularism is concerned it was inserted in the Constitution of India during the emergency of 1975=77 while all opposition leaders were in Jails. Even with out explicit insertion of Secularism in the Constitution of India s Hindus are/ were most secular people on this planet . All opposition to CAA is because Congress and its leftist associates has been successful in misleading Muslims. The agitation against CAA is outwardly communal in nature and lack any rationality. If it persists it will lead to counter-polarization of the Hindus and followers of other Indic -religion brothers with greater ferocity . If Congress or its leftist friends think that by this they can weaken position of Modi, they are mistaken. Modi -Shah duo will get more support from The nationalist Hindus and all non-muslims.

  19. Rupa, did you do your bit by joining in the protests? the colour of the protests will be determined by the people who attend. if the liberals outnumber the rest, well and good. if the “radical” left takes the lead, so be it (maoists will not defend the constitution – so no point worrying about a maoist hijack!). if muslims are alone, the protests are bound to become islamic. it is upto us!

    • Actually the BJP has declared war on the Hindus, not only Muslims. So we have to fight together, Or we lose together.

  20. Genuine Indian Muslims are not worried. Those who have obtained fake Aadhar, Election card are sure to be caught. Not only them, the person who got these for then will also be exposed. That’s the real worry. More they protest more will be the alienation.

    • this is not about hindu/muslim. this is about saving the constitution, about saving the country. come, join us, will you?

        • Pretty sure you are a islamist hiding under a Hindu name, looking at all your comments praising those jihadi women

          • what if “Rajiv” is a woman “hiding” under a man’s name? is “Karthik” your real name? are you a paid-troll pretending to be a normal person? are you a jihadist trying to sow division in india? who knows and who cares?
            anyway, islamists would never praise brave women! stop trolling and go out into the streets with a copy of the constitution and read it out loud!!

          • I’m hiding behind a burka :). And Cilly Mitra: well said about the constitution.

            And am Mindu or Huslim – both awkward terms, but you get the idea.

            The future of India is to merge the two religions and make a new India, with the constitution as the new Gita/Quaran . This will be anathema to both the religions. But what other choice do we have?

            Despite Modi-Shah, all of will continue living in the geographical area called India.

            Aur kahan jayeingein? Jeena yahan, marna yahan, Iske siva jana kahan?

            So why not prepare for the worst? Merge the two religions. Akbar already tried to do it and failed. But we have to keep trying till it works.

        • we need to reclaim a lot from the RSS: “jai hind” , the colour safron, “jai shree ram” and even “vande maatram” … and also “allahhuakbar” from the jihadists. the BJP tried to appropriate patriotism, gandhi, even bhagat singh. no reason to let them. thank you rajiv, who ever you are, for being here and calling out the biogots. Jai Hind! Jai Bhim(rao Ambedkar and the constitution he wrote for us)!

  21. Sad to see how the genuine protest against a bill is diverted towards labeling people, as fundamental, IS, leftist or Urban Naxal. The right debate would have been how the bill and coming NRC is frightening the minority community instead of labeling a girl who bravely saved her friend. Regardless of her ideology, she was brave, iso too much to expect people to recognize that fact.

    • Those girls transcend religion and identity. They represent the humanity which, in an earlier time, Joan of Arc or, if that sounds too dramatic, Florence Nightingale did.

    • Good comment. Their’s was a spontaneous protest and their saving their unarmed feind from police lathis was an act of bravery. I wonder how many modern, liberated women would have done that.

      It is immaterial what they have written on FB, otherwise it becomes like in the film Minority Report: you are condemned just for thinking something. In no way do these two women students seem to be radical just because of their FB posts.

      I personally would like to not see the head covered in a secular society. But here the case is completely different.

      Another question: Mahatma Gandhi died for the Muslims. Why is he not revered by them? Just because he is a Hindu?

    • depends on how it is said. lately we heard it too often in the wrong context. we must reclaim “jai sree ram” from the rss just as we are reclaiming the right to be a patriot without being an ultra hindu nationalist.

  22. In my point of view, irrespective of religion, NRC is anti-people just like demonetization was. But the rich will get away, it will end up as anti-poor. Plus anti-tribal.
    Strongly oppose #NRC.

    #CAA is only for persecuted non-Muslim minorities from 3 Muslim countries who came before 2014.
    (Discriminatory by not including persecuted Muslims.)
    However that doesn’t mean Muslims from those countries or immigrants from other countries are not welcome. They can also become our citizen by standard procedure.

    “If Indian citizenship is a product, CAA is a special discount to some people. Yes, the discount is discriminatory. But the product is not.”

    Look at this:
    #CAA will not save Hindus.
    CAA doesn’t include all Hindus. It only includes persecuted minorities from 3 Muslim countries- Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
    So if NRC happens and you could not prove you are Indian.
    Then you have to prove that you have migrated from any of these 3 countries before 2014 for CAA to be applicable on you. If you can’t prove, being Hindu doesn’t save you.

    Do not create a communal issue. This is a national issue.

  23. The time has come to UNITE – we need everyone under the same umbrella. the protest must remain peaceful but otherwise why exclude groups on the basis of their ideology, as lonmg as they are ready to defend the constitution, they should be welcome. even those of the RSS who want to protest the CAA should be welcome with open arms. ditto mullahs and comrades.

  24. The govt machinery and law department where the CAB and then CAA are drafted made mistakes in wording and constructing the nuances of the rules such that CAA appearing to be anti Muslims. Rather the CAA should have said that all minorities without mentioning names of religions are entitled to get citizenship if any type of persecution happens or happened in any country especially neighbouring countries.
    Anyway what we want sanity and peace approach from all quarters.

  25. The author is being polite by describing the atrocities that occurred as an ‘uprising’. Perhaps intentional, but the use of the words ‘Islamic State’ is an appropriate reference to present day IS which wants to establish a global caliphate, as was the motivation, then, for the khilafat movement after WW1. Why it was supported in India by the INC, and why the mass violence ignored, is a topic for another day, but negationism has run its course.

    That aside, the author is of course right. We should always be careful about whom we put on a pedestal. But I think the deeper question is why we choose to put some on a pedestal versus others?

    Just because these women have non-secular sympathies, do their acts become less heroic? Or are we now just playing damage control?

  26. Very sensible views. While objectives of CAA and NRC are clear and unquestionable, NRC may raise serious ref flags as it get implemented in terms of harassment faced a particular group of people. Govt has come out clearly on the procedural aspects of NRC and how it intends to deal with those found illegal migrant. It is a matter of relief that both Bangla Desh and Afghanistan have agreed to take back illegal migrant from their countries. However, a right approach kind of approach would be to give them work permits and ensure that they leave in due course in a legitimate way. And in future, we must have a strong border so that such infiltration does not occur. Hence, the whole exercise is legitimate but must be conducted with humane sensitivities, as migration for economic purpose happens all over the world, overtly or covertly.

    Coming to the opposition for CAA and NRC, it shows clearly that extreme left wing, anti national elements are taking over the protests. This will be a major blow for the opposition and if it goes beyond a point, it will only polarize the politics around it and only BJP will benefit. Opposition must first take the issue to SC and if it fails there, then declare as a manifesto that it will pass a law allowing anyone to come in from anywhere in the world if a person is persecuted for any reason. This will certainly raise India’s prestige in the world and something that would have made Father of the Nation very proud. Yogendra Yadav, Mamata and Arvind ( and even Uddhav) should take a lead on this issue and consolidate opposition unity to face BJP unitedly in 2024.

  27. Far left, radical, Communist and Islamist … That sounds a little like Jihadist, Urban Naxal, many other terms of endearment that are now routinely used for people we do not agree with. There have been visuals of young Indians reading the Preamble as an act of dedication to the ideals of the Republic, which is what all these protests against CAA are about. Except to the visually impaired, it is evident who is using force and who is at the receiving end of it. Possibly for the first time since 1947, it is likely the police have fired on protestors, some of whom have sustained bullet injuries, and are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.

    • “…first time since 1947 police have fired on protesters” —

      Will excuse this breathtaking assertion as being not made with sober mind, and in full possession of mental faculties

      • How many people here have problems with reading comprehensions. I repeat below what Ashok wrote:

        ‘”Possibly for the first time since 1947, it is likely the police have fired on protestors, some of whom have sustained bullet injuries, and are unwilling to acknowledge this fact.”

        Now anyone who knows good English should be able to connect the two parts and make this sentence: “Possibly for the first time since 1947 it is likely that police have fired on protesters and are unwilling to acknowledge the fact.”

        This is entirely different from what Vinu, RR and Ramu have implied above. Guys, back to the high school for you to attend classes in reading comprehension. And get your IQs checked in the meantime.

        Whether this fact (unwilling to acknowledge) is true or not can be debated. But to abuse Ashok on this is not just on.

        • Where’s the abuse? Isn’t this gentleman named ashok exaggerating? Well, less than you perhaps when talking about civil war and break-up.

  28. By and large, the article is sensible. The Author should appreciate that CAA acts as a proviso or exception to NRC. If non_muslim immigrants from specified countries are caught in the NRC net, they can be granted Indian citizenship under CAA. About the Islamists and radicals hijacking the left-liberal movement, JNU lost its credibility of being left-liberal, when people like Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid hijacked the student’s agitation to support Jihadis and anti-India forces. Its “eminent historians” went out of the way to support Muslim cause in Ramjanma Bhum dispute, to the extent of going to HC to give evidence as archaeologists when none of them had experience in archaeology, nor knew Sanskrit. JNU lost its credibility because of such partisan moves. While opposition to CAA is anyone’s democratic right. none has the fundamental right to destroy the public property.

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