A day after Rajya Sabha passed the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill which reduced citizenship rights to religious affiliations, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (CPI) D Raja spoke to National Herald.
In the interview, Raja – the first Dalit head of the Communist Party of India, compared today’s situation in India with the time of Hitler’s Germany. He said Modi government is subverting Constitution through Parliament. Edited excerpts of his interview:
After Lok Sabha, the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha also. How do you see it?
It is unconstitutional. BJP government pushed through this legislation according to their ideological design, not as per the norms laid down by the Constitution. And this design is very clear. The BJP-RSS combine is undermining Constitution. This move amounts to subverting the Constitution through Parliament.
BJP-RSS are trying to impose the idea of Hindu Rashtra on the people of India. It is part of a larger, sinister design of making India a Hindu Rashtra.
See, they are the elected government. They took oath in the name of Constitution, their responsibility is to protect Constitution, but they are subverting the Constitution.
Passage of this Bill is against the letter and the spirit of Constitution. Indian Constitution does not recognise citizenship on the basis of any religion. That is why we are opposed to it. Left parties have given a call for countrywide protest on December 19.
The Opposition claimed they will not allow passage of the CAB in Rajya Sabha but BJP very swiftly managed the numbers. Do you think Opposition lacked coordination or strategy to counter BJP?
They even manipulated the number, they could not claim spectacular victory in Parliament.
It was a close fight. Some parties, due to their political compulsions either walked out or supported the Bill. But it does not mean Opposition failed to counter the BJP or lacked strategy. If you talk to those who supported the Bill, they would speak against it. However, at the time of voting either they supported or abstained or walked out.
There are other compulsions also. We all know how BJP uses investigative agencies such as the CBI, ED etc to target an individual or political party.
There are many ways through which BJP manipulated political parties to get the required numbers. But it does not mean they represent the whole of the country. If you go and check you will find out, an overwhelming majority of Hindus are opposed to their idea of nationality.
News channels showed people celebrating the passage of the Bill.
A handful of people may have celebrated but it does not show the entire picture. News channels do not show the other side. One should not forget that that the entire NE is burning. I believe, most of the Hindus do not carry hatred towards any religion. I have seen people from different religions living in complete harmony. I do not know how RSS-BJP claim to represent the whole Hindu community.
Do you find any similarities between Hitler’s Germany and Modi’s India? Hitler used German parliament to further his agenda.
Like Modi, Hitler also had mastery over jugglery. Hitler also spoke about national socialism. We all know he came to power winning elections, but he put Reichstag, the German parliament building, on fire and put the blame on Communists. Later, he persecuted them using his militia. Same thing is happening in India.
Hitler used German parliament to pass Nuremberg Race Law. Modi government did the same thing.
That is how Nazism or Fascism – whatever you like to call it, emerged in Germany. Apart from Germany, it happened in other countries also but what we are witnessing today in India is the Indian variant of Fascism.
In the name of God, in the name of religion, they want to perpetuate a hierarchical society in India that people like Ambedkar rejected emphatically and fought all through their life. Ambedkar rejected the idea of Hindu Rashtra. He spoke of the religion that preaches liberty, equality. BJP-RSS is trying to implement what Manusmriti preaches.
We have heard dissenting voices from within the BJP over the Bill. BJP leaders specially from NE have opposed the Bill.
North East is in turmoil. They have put whole Jammu and Kashmir in turmoil with the abrogation of Article -370. Now through this Bill they have put whole NE region on fire. They have pushed the entire NE region in turmoil. Unprecedented tension has been created across the country.
Question remains - what does the BJP want to achieve through such contentious Bills? Is it just electoral gain or do you see any bigger agenda behind it?
Their sole purpose is to make India a Hindu Rashtra which we are opposed to and we will remain opposed to it. Indeed, their short-term goal is to get electoral gains, but their long-term goal is to make India a Hindu Rashtra.
Do you have any hope from the judiciary? Two to three petitions have been filed in the apex court challenging the CAB.
Let us see what SC does. But I am shocked to hear what Home Minister Amit Shah said. He was reported to have said that judiciary will also uphold the Bill. I do not know where does he get such confidence from Ayodhya verdict disappointed us. Let us have hope and faith on judiciary.