From our indefatigable Schroedinger’s Cat:
Protests have roiled India over the weekend. The Bharatiya Janata Party has become the Bharat Jalao Party (Burn India Party). Last week the Citizenship Amendment Bill become the Citizenship Amendment Act. According to the bill minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan will be eligible for refugee status. The bill excludes Muslims. Neither does it cover Tibetan or Sri Lankan refugees.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 of the Parliament of India amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 providing a path to Indian citizenship for religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The intended religious minorities were explicitly listed as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, raising concerns that Muslims were being marginalised. The beneficiaries had to have entered India on or before 31 December 2014, and should have faced “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their countries of origin. The Act also relaxed residence requirement for naturalization from 11 years to 5 years for these migrants.
This bill along with the BJP’s government’s plan to construct a National Register of Citizens portends doom for India’s 100 million plus Muslim population. BJP had tried to pass it in an earlier session of the Parliament but it died because they didn’t have the numbers to pass it through the upper House, Rajyasabha. But after gaining a imposing majority in the Loksabha in the last elections, this time around many smaller parties decide to go along with the BJP agenda in the Rajyasabha this time and the bill passed both the Houses easily.
The India of my childhood is being dismantled by the BJP. In our textbooks there used to be a Pledge.
India is my country and all Indians are my Brothers and Sisters. I love my country and I am proud of its rich and varied heritage. I shall always strive to be worthy of it.
I shall give respect to my parents, teachers and all the elders and treat everyone with courtesy.
To my country and my people, I pledge my devotion. In their well being and prosperity alone, lies my happiness.
Even as a child it seemed hopelessly naïve and idealistic to me. And God knows we did not live up to that ideal always but that was a worthy ideal to strive towards. The agenda of BJP, is the agenda of the RSS (Rashrtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) or Sangh , the political off shoot of the black hats and brown shorts wearing all male volunteer organization is antithetical to both the pledge and the preamble to the Indian Constitution.
The Sangh’s plan for India has always been clear, to rid India of its religious minorities, especially its Muslims, or relegate them to an inferior or a secondary status. Their ideology asserts that if India becomes a Hindu Rashtra, all its problems will vanish into thin air. When the BJP was able to form a government on their own strength after the general elections last May, I knew that their long awaited ideological project would gather full steam.
It started with Kashmir by taking away the statehood of India’s only Muslim majority state, changing the criteria of which refugees can become citizens is the logical next step. What comes after this is the National Citizenship Register, whereby one has to prove their citizenship. The NRC has been applied to the northeastern state of Assam with disastrous consequences, making over a million Indians stateless. You don’t have to be an expert on Indian politics to know who is the target of these actions.
To this murder of the Indian Constitution, not so fast say the students and ordinary citizens of India. Protests have gathered steam all across India including on college and university campuses and elsewhere…Continued at the Schroedinger’s Cat blog