Let’s Understand CAB and the Promise that it Holds!


India – a country of diversity blended with a rich cultural heritage and historical pride. Now, add the world-known perennial intolerance to change and an overly explicit stance when it comes to expressing non-compliance and you get the India of today. The latest example of our over-reaction to things is the protest against CAB – Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The ruling Indian Government has been making headlines since they have come in power. Be it demonetisation, triple talaaq, scrapping of article 370 or the new citizenship amendment bill, the government has been trying to bring overwhelming changes to the way our country functions.

But, every action taken by our government is scrutinised and criticised with profound intentions to malign its name. I am not defending any of the actions taken by the government, except triple talaaq or scrapping of article 370 for that matter but, let’s face it, it is one government that is truly trying to bring a real change.

Needless to say, change is not easy to accept. There is always a lot of resentment and indignation whenever a change is proposed and brought in action but such intense response to a bill that is being proposed for the upliftment of certain communities is appalling.

As soon as the bill was announced, certain over-excited sections of the society interpreted the bill according to their convenience and propagated that the bill is designed to harm the Muslim community, that it is a device to shove them out of the country.

A hysteria was created which is like an infectious disease and soon this hysteria started infecting everyone it touched. Students were soon on the roads to protest against this particular bill and the protest swiftly escalated to other parts of India.

This bill has been proposed to give security and dignified life to people belonging to minorities that came from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. They include people from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christians communities, who had to flee these countries to escape religious prosecution. It has been stated that these people will have to produce certain evidence to prove that they entered India during a certain period of time, there will not be any legal actions against them if they entered India without permission or overstayed their visa; they will simply be given the right to live a respectful and a peaceful life in this country.

This is where these so-called protectors of secularism and humanity turned active. Their interpretation of the bill is that this bill has been designed to oust Muslims from India because it doesn’t give protection to Muslims. The bottom line is that this bill is giving protection to people who fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – the predominantly Muslim countries. If these people go back to their own country, they are not the minority there, then why should we protect them under a bill that is being amended to give protection to minorities?

Our total global population is something around 7.7 billion people and 24.4% of this population is Muslim. Islam is also the second-largest religion being followed after Christianity in about 46 countries. So, from which perspective do they call themselves a minority?

There is another factor aligned to this bill that no one has bothered considering. This bill is talking about minorities and there are minorities other than the over-dramatic victims of inferiority complex people but somehow no one is bothered about lending their support to Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs or Jains, everyone has joined hands to fuel the fire lit by a small group of people, without even understanding the basics of this bill.

Fine, for a moment, let’s assume that the bill is dividing people on the basis of religion but hey, wake-up, our nation got divided more than 70 years ago in the name of religion where Muslims went to the side that is now known as Pakistan and the remaining communities stayed with the Indian side of the division. Those who remained in India, regardless of their religion, are Indians. While our community and background make us who we are, our nation gives us everything we have. Whereas, some of us have found the grounds that we need, some are still grappling to acquire that coveted secure status and this bill is an open-hearted welcome to our brothers from communities that need our love and support.

There are hundreds of laws, acts, bills and provisions that give our Muslim brothers and sisters the equal rights and status as anybody else in India. But, we also need to consider the fact that our friends and families belonging to other communities have either been killed or converted in the above-mentioned countries and it is time for us to give them what they need. They are one of us, they have come here seeking shelter, it is our responsibility to give them the love and the respect that they deserve.

Let’s not see this bill as something designed to harm the Muslim community but as a promise to help people belonging to other minority communities.

We are again being manipulated by external sources, who take advantage of our internal unrest to spread their hatred and revulsion in our country and turn us against each other.

The Jamia University students gave this protest a more strategic shape. Yes, there were sections of the society who had grievances but it took a horrible turn from there. Why did it take such a magnanimous shape from Jamia? And theories are emerging that these protests are being manoeuvred by people sitting in Pakistan. The question is, do we have people holding allegiance to Pakistan in Jamia or do we have Pakistani nationals posing to be Indians operating from Jamia? The kind of bombs that have been used by the students during the protests cannot be an amateur’s job. That is the kind of ammunition that can be made after having the right training to make them. And, the most harrowing part of the whole situation is the news that’s coming in about people losing their lives due to the protests.

The bottom line is that this law is not devised to oust the citizens of the country. Whatever our religion is, we are the citizens of this country, and nothing can take that away from us. But, this bill is an opportunity for those who actually belong to minorities to attain the right to a dignified life. Let’s not take this opportunity away from them. Let’s not turn this bill into something it is not.

Bhavika Batra

The girl next door, exploring life and always on an adventure. Care to share your experience? If yes, let's get together to resolve this enigma called LIFE!

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