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Its not CAA or NRC, but ‘Avishwas’ with Modi govt behind the protests

The big worry for the Muslims at this point is that the CAA clubbed with the NRC can be misused against them

Tuesday December 24, 2019 10:14 PM, Rahul Vatsa, ummid.com

NRC, CAA and Muslims

When on 11th December the bill for the Citizenship Amendment Act got passed in the parliament with support of not only the entire NDA but many non-NDA parties as well, it seemed that the political fraternity of the country is just acknowledging the sentiments of the minorities in the three neighboring countries; and accepting the responsibility for such minorities in the backdrop of the fact that the partition in 1947 was on religious lines and there has been large scale discrimination on religious lines against the minorities in these countries.

Anybody having little understanding of the Citizens Amendment Act will agree that it is not against any Indian community, but since the day the bill has got passed in the parliament, violent protests are taking place in the country and it is spreading fast in different parts of the country. Why are the protests taking place? What are the real concerns of the people taking part in such protests? What should the government of India do to address these concerns?

To find answer to these questions we have to understand how the minorities, especially the Muslims, look at Narendra Modi government and its work in the last 5.6 years. Of course, it’s a different government in many ways – the first time the saffron party has majority of its own and is the dominant member of the ruling alliance. The government is led by a person who has proven credentials of honest, development oriented able administrator but at the same time strong Hindutva tag is attached to him.

With such a background, when Narendra Modi took guard at Delhi, he tried to build the confidence among the Muslims by devising “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” as the mantra of his government. He never missed any opportunity to proclaim that his government works for 130 crore people of India and to a large extent he was successful in conveying this message to the community. This probably made the Muslims at least open to listen to Modi and to some extent relieve him of his old baggage of being anti-Muslim. This was evident when the Muslims like other Indians supported Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and didn’t allow the opposition to politicize demonetization. This is further evident from the fact that in the 2015 assembly election in Uttar Pradesh the Muslims were not so against the BJP and had not polarized against it, and it had indirectly helped the BJP sweep the UP election.

But during all this, some senior BJP leaders at different times gave provoking statements like “go to Pakistan”, and “whatever SC decisions comes, Ram Mandir will be built in Ayodhya”. It’s also a fact that during this regime incidences of mob lynching has increased manifolds, and the government has not done much to discourage the elements involved in such incidences. A general feeling has developed among the community that the intolerance in the society has increased during the Modi regime.

Going forward, the government picked the controversial issues from the agenda of the BJP which had been put aside during the previous NDA governments as part of the common minimum program of the NDA. When the triple talaq got revoked, the Muslim community looked at it with suspicion that it’s a step towards bringing common civil code in the country. When the government revoked the article 370 and divided J&K in two UTs, it managed support even from the parties which had been always against it by principle. It was a major shift in the politics of India and it was worrisome for many including the Muslims. During this regime, the SC has given verdict for the 134 year old Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Mosque row in favour of the Temple. Though it was a verdict by the court, but many from the community see influence of the current regime in this decision.

Further, it’s a fact that India under the leadership of Narendra Modi has emerged stronger on the world forums, it has strengthened its relationship with many countries including all major world powers and most of the Islamic countries. This was proved when Indian war planes entered into PoK and Pakistan, and demolished terrorist camps and the world was on India’s side. This was further evident when after revocation of the article 370 in J&K, in spite of so much effort by Pakistan to internationalize it, except a couple of exceptions every country accepted it as an internal affairs of India.

Therefore, there is a feeling in the community that this government is so powerful that it can do almost anything which it wishes to, and no one in the country or the world can stop it. And the community is worried that the way government is going it may even go to an extent where it can make India an undeclared Hindu Rashtra. It may be an entirely wrong perception getting developed, but this is the fact that there is clear “Avishwas” (mistrust) against the Modi government and the government must act fast to turn this “Avishaws” to “Vishaws”.

The big worry for the Muslims at this point is that the CAA clubbed with the NRC can be misused against the community. If anyone look at the basic idea of NRC, there is nothing wrong in it – any country should have record of its citizens and should be able to know if someone is illegally staying in the country. To win the trust of the community the government should make it a starting point. It must ascertain the country that any citizen of India, whichever community he or she belongs to, will not be wrongly troubled. If the government decides to implement the NRC, it must discuss this at length with every community, address everyone’s genuine concerns and bring a consensus on it before bringing it in the parliament. Narendra Modi must remember that unless his government doesn’t win “Sabka Vishwas”, “Sabka Saath” and “Sabka Vikas” can never be achieved. This government will be a government of 130 Crore people only if it reaches out to the people and brings consensus on important issue and not just go for majority voting in the parliament.

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