Exactly a year ago on 11 December, 2019, the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). It was more the act of a civilisation than a nation, extending its protection to persecuted religious minorities from three neighbouring Islamic nations — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh — by expediting their citizenship applications.
Immediately there was fire on buses and trains, blood on the streets. Protests raged from Murshidabad to Jamia and from Shaheen Bagh to Azad Maidan. One of the bloodiest riots broke out in Delhi.
Protesters asked: Why were Muslims left out of this? Why can’t Muslims from these countries apply for Indian citizenship? How will it affect Indian Muslims?
The answers to all three are simple but have been deliberately overlooked to suit an Islamist-Communist agenda.
Muslims cannot be a religious minority in Muslim nations. Smaller denominations of Muslims like Sufis, Ahmadiyyas and Ismailis are still Muslims, and they chose to break free from India and be part of new Islamic nations based on that identity.
Second, Muslims from any country can still be naturalised as an Indian citizen, but they need to apply and qualify under pre-existing laws, not the CAA, which is a narrow-window legislation.
Third, the CAA does not affect any Indian Muslim.
The government, though, has not implemented the amendment so far. Although it has officially cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason, suspicion of a linguistic and cultural takeover in Assam and an overall wariness about triggering further protests are likely on the Central Government’s mind.
But senior BJP leader helming the elections preparations in West Bengal Kailash Vijayvargiya has said that the CAA will roll out most likely from January 2021. It makes sense for the BJP to roll it out before the Bengal elections, where a massive demographic shift favouring alleged Bangladeshi Muslims has long been afoot.
But the much more compelling reason for the Centre to roll out the CAA is that the utterly disparaging fate of minorities in these Islamic nations continues in 2020.
Houses of Hindu families were recently ravaged and burned by Islamists in Bangladesh’s Cumilla district over a Facebook post allegedly slandering Islam.
The houses were ransacked and set on fire after a France-based Bangladeshi man praised President Emmanuel Macron for acting against ideologies after a teacher in Paris was beheaded for showing caricatures of Prophet Mohammad.
Such incidents are not isolated. According to a report in The New Indian Express, the Bangladesh chapter of the World Hindu Federation claimed that the persecution of minorities had become more acute during COVID-19.
“In April, 12 business shops of Hindu owners were looted, two Hindu businessmen were killed, 307 acres of Hindu land was occupied by local criminals, two temples were demolished and idols vandalised. 21 Hindu families were evicted from their settlements and 14 Hindu families forced to leave the country,” the group claimed in a statement.
That month, four Hindu girls were apparently abducted, six other Hindu girls and women were raped, and three Hindu girls were forced to convert to Islam, the report added.
In Pakistan, the savagery on minorities occurs with feudal impunity.
In June this year, Rahat Austin, whom The Times of India describes as a Pakistani human rights activist, recently said on Twitter that six armed men entered the house of a 13-year-old Hindu girl’s house, beat up her family and took her away.
She was brutally raped at gunpoint by these six men, he alleged.
In May, the centuries-old Guru Nanak Palace in Narowal was destroyed, prompting Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Forty-year-old Syed Ali Azhar was charged with raping a 13-year-old Christian girl in Karachi, forcibly converting her to Islam and marrying her in October.
These are just a few among thousands of such assaults every year, destroying family after family. India was the home of their ancestors. It needs to shelter them in their darkest hour if it is to rise as a civilisational power once again.
December 11, 2020 at 07:36PM