It is a testimony to the constant flow of errors in communication of the Government of India that there has been so much uninformed and hysterical reaction to the Citizenship Amendment Act. A dominant strand in the discourse has been the canard that the CAA somehow seeks to “de-legitimise” the more than 180 million Muslim citizens of the Republic of India. The Muslims of India are distinguished not only within the country but across the world for the manner in which they have resisted the lure of extremism. In the dismal roster of Wahhabi terror organisations, there are very few citizens of India, in contrast to the multitudes from Pakistan. In the matter of the Ram Janmabhumi, it can safely be said that over 95% of Muslims have no objection to the temple being restored. Indeed, even if the other two traditional religious sites of Mathura and arenas are restored to what they were before the cruel and discriminatory rule of Emperor Aurangzeb, the overwhelming majority of the Muslim community would welcome rather than object to such a restoration, which should be accompanied by magnificent mosques being constructed in land separate from the Hindu religious sites. The subcontinent has been severely affected by the 1947 partition of India. Indeed, a united India would have had a Muslim population of 500 million, easily the biggest assembly in the world, and which would have been a major force not only internally but within the 1.2 billion strong Muslim world. It is such a destiny that the Muslims of the subcontinent got cheated of because a few rich landowners in UP and Bihar, together with the then Aga Khan, incessantly pushed the view that Muslims would not be safe in a country with a Hindu majority, and that they therefore formed a separate nation that necessitated a different state. The wounds of Partition were many and deep, but the wilful neglect by post-1947 rulers to heal the wounds of partition led to traces of the Two Nation theory remaining within India, a country that lost a third of its area in 1947 because of the Two Nation theory. The fact that India is among the top three countries in terms of Muslim population (the others being Indonesia and Pakistan) exposes the untruth behind allegations that there is mistreatment of minorities in India. Certainly there are instances such as the killing of innocents simply on the ground that they ate a certain type of meat. Those who committed such an act need to be treated as terrorists. It is an act of terrorism to kill another human being because the terrorist in question does not like the type of meat the victim is consuming or is regarded as consuming. Strong action is needed against such elements, and the occasional slackness seen by some state governments in dealing with extreme promptness and harshness against them is unpardonable. However, such horrible activities are few and far between, and it is a travesty of the truth to say that they are commonplace in India. Overall, the country remains peaceful and the slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” prevails. Which is why the organised effort of some troublemakers to create confusion about the CAA is a sign that efforts are ongoing to weaken the very fabric of India and damage this country’s future.
The fact is that the CAA has zero effect on any citizen of India, whatever be the faith of that citizen. Its purpose is to fast track citizenship for those who have long suffered discrimination at the hands of those in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. For all three, there has been a steady flow of desperate refugees into India. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus, Christians and Sikhs have been killed in these countries, which explicitly give priority to a single faith, and only to that faith, in their laws and practices. More than the CAA, what is needed by the Modi government is to resort to the means at its disposal to ensure that minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh are fairly treated. Active measures need to be taken to make sure that the torture, rape and murder of Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in these countries are halted. The CAA should not result in an intensification of oppression of the minorities in the three countries named, such that whatever is left of the minority population in these three countries get forced to migrate to India. Because of the CAA, fundamentalists in Pakistan in particular should not see it as an opportunity to don what they seek, which is to ensure that minorities be wholly expelled from that country. The problems involved in the CAA do not justify the false news getting purveyed that the law leads to any change in the position of Muslims citizens of India, which it does not in the least. It is noteworthy that the Government of India seems to have been taken completely by surprise at the scale of the protests against the new law. Surely the intelligence agencies ought to have had information of the intention of some countries and forces hostile to India to sow confusion about the legislation. There ought to have been a communications campaign to better educate the public, especially the Muslim community, about the legislation. What is needed is a gentle approach infused with a clear and consistent communications strategy that emphasises the fact that the CAA has zero impact on any citizen of India of any creed. The truth about the CAA needs to be told and told again, so that facts push out the lies being spread, most notably by forces hostile to India.