The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 which got the assent of the President after being passed by both houses of Parliament doesn’t discriminate between Bharatiya Hindus and Bharatiya Muslims. Yes, you heard that right. No matter how the media portrays it or how the opposition has reacted to it, nothing will change this fact.
The comparison between the Nuremberg Laws enacted by the Nazi Party and the CAB is bizarre at best. The CAB doesn’t apply to existing citizens. The CAB applies to non-citizens and is in no way against the basic nature of the constitution.
The portrayal of CAB being a communal law is a dangerous narrative which seems to be motivated by political and ideological beliefs, above the security & interests of the nation.
To fully understand the significance of the amendment, we need to go back to the infamous partition of Bharat in 1947 that saw the emergence of two nations: Bharat which bestowed equal status on all citizens irrespective of faith, and a fanatic Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which was created specifically as a state to accommodate the Muslims of the sub-continent who aspired to have a state of their own on grounds that they were ’fundamentally different’ from Hindus with whom they said they cannot co-exist.
With this division in the subcontinent, the status of its inhabitants changed abruptly and drastically. Muslims living in Bharat were given equal status on par with the Hindu majority. Whereas Muslims in both West and East Pakistan became first class citizens relegating the minorities (read Hindus) to second class status.
The only disadvantaged ones were Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis left behind in the new Islamic Pakistan; they, who were literally reduced to second class citizens for no fault of theirs, became disenfranchised in a whisker and were gradually stripped off their property, denied economic & social progress and even basic safety & security.
The modern Bharatiya nation has a duty towards the Hindus & other religious minorities who are persecuted by an oppressive religious State. This Bill just seeks to implement this duty towards it’s abandoned children, lost in the storm of forced partition.
The charge that this Bill violates the concept of equality enshrined in our Constitution and is discriminatory in nature vis-a-vis Muslims stems from a simplistic and ignorant interpretation of the law and is suspiciously malicious in intent.
True, Article 14 of the Constitution of Bharat states that: ‘The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India’ and Article 15 disbars discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth or any of them.
However, over the years, the Supreme Court in its Judgments has refined the definition of equality. It permits laws to differentiate between groups of people if the rationale for doing so serves a reasonable purpose.
In its judgment in the Onkar Lal Bajaj v. the Union of India case, the Supreme Court categorically stated that ‘equal treatment of unequals is nothing but inequality’. Persecuted minorities (read Hindus) and migrating first class citizens (read Muslims) of Islamic states created specifically to accommodate them, who sneak into our nation foraging for better opportunities or looking to wage population jihad, are not the same. Cries of inequality here are a farce.
This Bill is applicable to illegal immigrants only and in no way diminishes the status of Bharatiya Muslims.
Every self-respecting nation has a mechanism in place to validate citizenship and safeguard its sovereignty; for Bharat, the National Register of Citizens serves this purpose and acts as a deterrent to future illegal immigrants.
One of the defects of the NRC was that it failed to make a distinction between persecuted refugees and voluntary illegal immigrants. The CAB corrects this deficiency.
To view the CAB and NRC through the lens of communalism is a dangerous tendency that does no one any good, especially Muslims; it only promotes social distrust and social disharmony by feeding into the insecurity of Muslims.
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