India’s Citizenship Amendment Act Shows Two-Nation Theory Is Alive And Well
The Citizenship Amendment Act, in tandem with the National Registration Act, is about to wreak havoc on India’s ideals of secularism. NRA is meant to rid India of what Amit Shah calls termites – in diplomatic parlance, of all illegal aliens, argues Shajeel Zaidi.
India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill gives credence to the two-nation theory much like Nehru and Patel’s actions in the run-up to the partition gave legitimacy to the demand for Pakistan. It is not a demonic law per se; we have a multitude of such laws which discriminate on the basis of religion, but it is very portent in lifting the veil off of India’s secularism: that under the guise of openness there is malevolence, that under the watchful eye of the state Muslims are brutalized.
The Citizenship Amendment Act by itself is very innocuous because it does not target the Muslims directly. However, in tandem with the National Registration Act, it is about to wreak havoc on India’s ideals of secularism. NRA is meant to rid India of what Amit Shah calls termites – in diplomatic parlance, of all illegal aliens.
Amongst those, there will be both Muslims and Hindus just like out of the 2 million unregistered people in Assam, half are Muslim while half are Hindu. Now here is where it gets interesting. After the illegal aliens are identified, those who are Hindu or Sikh or Jain or Parsi or Christian would be automatically granted relief under CAA because the Act would apply to all Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Jain and Christian people who have migrated to India from either Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh under duress; on the other hand, all the Muslims who are illegal would either be forcibly interned or deported.
This is not much different from the Jewish pogrom carried under the Nazi regime or the systematic oppression of Muslims currently underway in China. If BJP denies this, then it should also clarify why only Muslims are excluded from the CAA. If indeed the BJP is doing this on humanitarian grounds and is concerned about the plight of persecuted minorities in its neighbouring countries, why doesn’t it extend this same benevolence to Tamils in Sri Lanka, to Rohyngias in Myanmar, to Ahmedis in Pakistan, to Uighurs in China. The only reason critics have casted aspersions on the intentions behind CAA and NRP is that people of only one religion have been singled out. It is as if the BJP in tandem with the RSS wants to fulfill its manifesto of India as a homeland for only Hindus.
While religious strife between Hindus and Muslims has always been a hallmark of India, Modi’s government has been particularly ghastly towards the almost 200 million minority in India. The revoking of Article 370 in Kashmir is a case in point. For five months now, almost 900,000 residents are living under a curfew. If such a situation was to exist in a monarchy like Saudi Arabia or dictatorship like North Korea, it would be understandable. India’s negation of all basic norms of decency, respect for its citizenry have eroded its claim to be the World’s largest democracy, for mere elections don’t make a democracy: it is access to a set of certain inviolable rights and freedom of speech that allow a country to call itself a democracy.
BJP and the RSS hearken for an “Akhand Bharat”. Akhand Bharat would have been a reality had the Cabinet Mission Plan of 1946 been implemented. This would have left India united after the British left but would have broken it up into three groups which would roughly have been the Muslim majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Assam of today, and the Hindu bulk of India as it is. Congress, in its quest for absolute power, refused to accept this proposal and thus laid the foundations for the practical application of the two-nation theory.
Similarly, BJP in its quest for further electoral power wants to alter the demographics of India and in its zeal for Hindutva wants to subjugate hundreds of millions of Muslims, thereby signaling to the world that the two-nation theory is alive and well and the creation of Pakistan was necessary.
The author works in alternative financing on Wall Street, and has a fascination with modern history and politics.