Amidst wide ranging country wide student protest, Modi government has notified the Citizenship Amendment Act effective from January 10. This move of Narendra Modi makes it explicit that he has no respect for the peoples’ desire and is ready to confront the citizens of India. His determination to push ahead the saffron agenda is so precious and important that he is even prepared to antagonise the people of the country. This action simply makes clear that apprehensions have come true.
This notification makes it apparent that beginning January 10, at least legally, illegal immigrants from communities - barring Muslims - can apply for Indian citizenship under the new Act.
During the month long movement at least 25 persons have been killed. Ironically except a few deaths, the government and its people have failed to muster courage that these people were killed by police. What has been most atrocious is the police has not been ashamed of showing its fascist face to the people.
The Act, which grants illegal immigrants belonging to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, has also been opposed by multiple state governments. A notification in the official gazette by Additional Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Anil Malik said, “In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of the Section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 10th day of January, 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force.”
If the sources are to be believed the Union Home Ministry has been keenly watching the mood of the Supreme Court, which is set to take the petition challenging the Act on January 22 and it after this day the government would prefer to notify the rules for CAA. Without the rules in place, identifying necessary authorities and streamlining processes may not be feasible. How far it would be practicable to notify is not yet clear as the Act will disenfranchise a large number of Muslims notwithstanding Modi’s claim that was a wrong perception and a canard spread its enemies.
While Modi has been consistently denying this, it is beyond comprehension why he is adamant to enforce the Act which has lost credibility and is being viewed with suspicion.
Though Modi-Shah combination has launched mass reach out campaign the fact remains that so far no sustained effort has been made by the BJP leadership to interact with the Muslims.
The nation is in a crisis. The polarisation brought about by the BJP and Modi government through a series of legislation, judgments and executive action is badly dividing the nation.
For the first time the Independent India is witnessing vertical divide and also confrontation between the people and the politics.
The scenario emerging at the political horizon of the country is horrific. The education environment will be completely ruined. The way the communalised police has been acting at the behest of the politicians and sycophant bureaucrats is quite disheartening. At the instruction of the government the future of the students is deliberately being ruined by the police in implicating in false cases. Undeniably they are being punished for acting at the directive of their conscience and compulsion to protect Constitution and the country.
Modi government could have avoided from creation of this situation. But unfortunately for the rulers these students are their class enemies. This step of theirs has turned great thinker Chanakya irrelevant. The notification comes in the backdrop of large-scale protests across the country against the Act and fears are being expressed that the movement may further aggravate in future. It is expected that after the rules specify the kind of documents the people have to submit underline the nature of protest.
The notification came a day after the Supreme Court expressed surprise at a public interest plea that sought a declaration that the Act was “constitutionally valid”, saying that such petitions do not help a country going through “difficult times”.
BJP leaders and cadres claim Modi as a statesman. They may believe so. But fact remains that a statesman is one who admits when he has made a mistake and has the grace to correct it before it does any more harm. The prime minister, unfortunately, has shown no signs of having either of these virtues. On the contrary his style has been self-congratulatory.