Why opposition is mad on CAB

By K.N. Pandita

The opposition in the Parliament has gone mad on the CAB. It has many components, and each component has its own reasons to oppose CAB. There is no convergence on the question of why to oppose the bill. Muslim leaders like Owaisi and others of his flock oppose it because the bill exposes the hyperbole that Islam or an Islamic State is equitable to the people of non-Islamic faith. Congress opposes it because the bill creates serious doubts among its Muslim constituency about Congress’ effectiveness to speak for them. TMC opposes it because Mamta has burnt her boats with the Hindus of Bengal and, therefore, she must cling to the Muslim vote, right or wrong, for her survival. This is how religion is politicized.

More vocal among Congress opponents to the bill in Rajya Sabha debate, like Kapil Sibal, Chidambaram, Chowdhury and others, have to convince the Congress High Command, and the dynastic matriarch, that they are more loyal than the king. The vengeful need a protective umbrella against the state exposing their misdeeds.

Once in a parliamentary debate on some issue, the then young and firebrand MP, Atal Bihari Vajpayee ruthlessly criticized Nehru. The treasury benches tried to show him down and made a loud noise to interrupt Vajpayee. Nehru rose to intervene, and asked his party MP to listen patiently to the “future prime minister of India.” The political descendent of Nehru, the present Congress chief, in her recent speech in Maharashtra, called BJP “poison for India”. Mark the difference and also mark the degradation with which political parameters of present-day Congress is beset. A national-level political party which has 2/3 majority in the Parliament, is labeled “poison” by a party that has less than 5 per cent of seats in the parliament. What Congress president exactly meant to say was that two-third population of India is poison to the rest of the people. Where then is the spirit of democracy?

Kapil Sibal, another Congressman was mad saying CAB is a death knell to secularism. What is his interpretation of secularism is not known? Will he make some introspection and then answer the question which Home Minister Amit Shah posed to him in the debate. The question was as this: Did not Congress divide India on the basis of communalism? We may further ask: Was not Congress responsible for the destruction of the Hindus and Sikhs of undivided India by accepting the partition of the country and not anticipating the horrendous consequences of creating a Muslim State to its West and East? Can Congress give the figures of the population of Hindus and Sikhs in the Punjab and Bangladesh on the eve of partition, and their population today? On the other hand, the population of Indian Muslims on the eve of partition was barely 5 crores and today it is in the neighborhood of 18 crores. Is Congress justified in calling the bill as the communal agenda of NDA government?

Most of the Muslim MPs opposing the bill demanded that Muslims should not be isolated from the reach of the bill. In other words, they mean to say that the Muslims coming to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh as refugees should also be given the right to become the citizens of India. The point is that for nearly half a century the Muslims of India under the influence of All India Muslim League persistently demanded a separate home for the Muslims of India because the Muslims would in a country dominated by non-Muslims owing to fundamental differences in two religions.

They got the separate homeland in the shape of East and West Pakistan, which are now two indecent countries. Why should they now come as refugees to India, a country they once said is not the country of their culture? Why should they be accepted as citizens of India? Have not their leaders carved out a new state for co-religionists in India? The Muslims who opted not to leave India in the aftermath of the partition understood very well that they have opted to live in a country that observes secular democratic dispensation stipulated in its constitution and not Islamic sharia. They are misled if any political party tells them that they are safe only in their hands, and as such, should cast their vote to that party only. It is a direct insult to the Indian constitution and a dirty trick of dividing people on a religious basis. Congress and the Left have been doing that ever since. The result is the backlash from the nationalists, who include even many Muslims.

This, precisely, has been the miscalculation of Kashmir Muslim leaders as well. Dr Farooq of NC had said that abrogation of Article 370/35-A would result in bloodshed in India. The question is who passed Article 370 for incorporation into the Indian Constitution in 1949? Obviously, it was the people of India whose elected representatives in the Constitution Assembly voted and passed the Article 370. Now on August 5, 2019, who abrogated two clauses of Article 370 and 35-A? Undoubtedly, it was the people of India who affirmed Amendment Bill 2019 through their representatives in the parliament. Why then is there so much of hue and cry about this Act? It is the majority of the nation that decides issues, Dr Farooq and others in Kashmir need to understand that they have to win the hearts not only of Kashmiris but also of the entire Indian nation. Unfortunately, by their intransigence, they have alienated the Indian nation and must bear the consequences.

The Congress signing the Article 370 into the Indian Constitution, despite opposition by Kashmiri Hindu leadership of the day had actually signed the death warrant of the Kashmir Hindu minority. This came true in 1990 when in the jihadist insurgency in the erstwhile state about 1341 Kashmiri Hindus were savagely done to death followed by the complete ethnic cleansing of the valley of Hindu presence. Identical treatment of the Hindus and Sikhs in West, as well as the erstwhile East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), is the strongest reason for a pan-nationalist and secular government to have introduced the CAB. Which state in the world other than India will give safety and security to the non-Muslim refugees from the three countries? Of course, when we speak of Afghanistan, we speak of the Taliban Afghanistan and the jihadist forces once ruling the roost in that country and not the normal and friendly government in Kabul.

However, we do understand the suffering of many Muslims in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Such people are generally liberal-minded and appreciative of modern life. They are oppressed by the rabid conservatism and Wahhabi ideology that is pre-eminent in their societies. But then that is the strife between the orthodox and exclusivist Islamists and the liberal and enlightened among them. That battle has been going on for more than a thousand years and has now reached its climax. Apparently, the die is cast.

Comments are closed.