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Our thoughts on the CAA and NRC

Updated: Jun 18, 2021

~Sanskar Tiwari and Mehul Arora

Not only the capital, all of the nation today blazes in a fire. If the violence continues the way it is, this can very soon turn into a revolution.

Amidst all this chaos, the pro bill people have stick to the narrative of the protestors being misguided and misled into violence, while those who support it reply with the counter that Noble prize winners like Amartya Sen do not need to be guided by the very ill-educated BJP officials.

As for us, we do not find the explanation by those of the bill supporters to be convincing and thus we shall express our views on it

1. The first argument that we shall encounter is that of the supporters that the Muslims indigenous to the land is in no danger of losing their citizenship. Well, it may sound morally assuring and supporting to the Muslims, but the fact technically remains that the citizenship of Muslims can be stripped from them even if they have been dwellers of this land since long. If a Muslim person fails to procure the documents needed for the NRC process he/she can be stripped of their citizenship, according to the Foreigners Act, while if a Hindu/Sikh/Christian/Buddhist/Jain fails this process, he/she has a potential advantage of applying through CAA to claim their citizenship back. This occurring here could be very well explained through the analogy of throwing people off an airplane (NRC) and the relegions except Islam being given a life jacket (CAA) and Muslims being given nothing. 

2. The greater matter of concern here is not that whether Muslims will be stripped of citizenship or not. It is that the CAA in its very nature is a discriminative act that discriminates on the basis of Religion and Geology for the basis of Indian citizenship - a direct attack on the secular principles of our Constitution.

3. Now the argument of helping the persecuted in our neighboring nations concerns us, what we want to point out here is that is it necessary for the government to only give shelter to those who are persecuted on the basis of their religion.

A man if persecuted enough to leave his country should be given citizenship irrespective of the manner of his persecution whether it be religious or any other, and if the nation finds itself to be incapable to provide shelter to refugees, then it shall give shelter to none whether they are persecuted religiously or by any other means.

The Foreigners Tribunal in Assam

3. Now, let us assume the government had some special interests in helping the religiously persecuted, then this argument can too be countered, just by stressing on the condition and situation of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. Ahmediyas are persecuted in Pakistan. No help is being given to them even when they are in such a desperate situation to flee from their country. Rather we here are more eager to provide citizenship to the Hindus living in these countries, without any will to come here.

4. The NRC process is a specially hectic one for disadvantaged groups like the transgender community, who are usually estranged from their homes. How can they prove their citizenship, if they don't have any parent home? The Transgenders could also be asked to undergo forced sex change surgery under the Trans Act to get their names on the NRC

5. Now regarding the economic aspect of NRC, even leaving the bribes that will be given during the process and the economic exploitation from which a common person of this nation will go through standing in queues for documents wasting his work hours, just focus on the impact it will have on the national treasury. Recently, the NRC process was carried out in the state of Assam which has a population of 3.2 crores and just accounts for 2.4 % of the National Geographic area. And the cost for the process was about 1200 to 1600 crore rupees, just imagine the cost it would be to carry out the NRC process for 137 crore people and for the entire nation geographically ranging from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and from Gujarat to North East. This would be horrifying for an honest and well-working taxpayer of this nation.

Stressing a bit more on numbers we could observe that on an average it took 399 rupees to carry out the NRC process for a person in Assam, with simple maths multiplying 399 with 137 crores come up with the horrifying amount of 54663 crores for a nationwide NRC. 

All of this should be taken into consideration with the pretext that illegal immigration in 500 districts out of 640 in our nation is below 0.5%. Now it is up to you to decide, whether this cost is worth the effect it would have in handling illegal immigrants or not.

6. The cost of NRC would just not be limited to that of the process but rather would also extend to the cost for building a detention camp for the illegal immigrants, the cost for maintaining the detention camps and keeping the refugees would also come from the pockets of a taxpayer. Who could have easily been a well working man, an asset for the nation after this process would be just reduced to the confines of the detention camps ending up nothing more than a liability for the country? Regarding the cost to build detention centers, a center has just been build in Assam which has the mere capacity to hold 3000 Refugee and had the cost of rupees 45 crore the estimated cost to build detention camps for all the 19 lakh illegal immigrants identified in Assam NRC is well over 3000 crore rupees, let go of the cost to build Refugee camps for illegal immigrants identified in nationwide NRC.

7. Now regarding the citizenship Amendment Act, the hypocrisy of the government is clearly visible, for the people for whom they showed uttermost concern and held a NRC 

once, today they have no respect for the change in their local demographics. One thing is very well visible here, the BJP government, who earlier believed most off immigrants to be Muslims held an NRC to send them back to their countries under the pretext of conserving local Assamese demographics, upon discovering the majority of them as Hindus, forgot the concern for the local Assamese demographics which they earlier had, and then came up with the CAA which gave all the relegions citizenship except Islam, putting the demographic change of the Assam locals into complete ignorance.

8. The legalities of the bills aside, the reaction of the government to the protestors just very well shows what knowledge and understanding do to the BJP officials have of democracy and its democratic functions. The manner in which the police forces reacted to the Jamia protests clearly gives the indication that their intention was neither to maintain order or to restore peace but rather it was to cause damage and hurt the students. These acts were widely criticized by several influential personalities like those of Ayushmann Khurrana, Rajkummar Rao, John Cusack, Taapsee Pannu, Chetan Bhagat, Anurag Kashyap, Manoj Bajpai, Bhumi Pendekar, Parineeti Chopra and Vicky Kaushal - who termed the university as to be turned into a battlefield at the night of police encounter.

It very well seems that the government forgotten how to deal with criticism, it has now moved to the time of monarchs, where they themselves used to look and allow what was to published and whatnot. Something similar happens today in our nation, whenever someone somewhere raises their voice, what follows is an internet shutdown, in fact, internet shutdown has become a new common in India as a number of internet shutdowns in India in 2019 alone were more than those of the world combined. Not only the number of internet shutdowns in our nation has been the most, but also they have been the longest Internet shutdowns ever.

With an internet shutdown of 99 days in West Bengal in 2017, the shutdown of 133 days in Jammu and Kashmir in 2016 and the longest of 150 days and counting in Jammu and Kashmir since 4th August 2019, we are creating a Guinness Book record of the longest Internet shutdowns every day.

Modi: *launches Digital India*
Modi: *shuts down internet*

Our final message to the people would be to learn to differentiate between the nation and the government, between an anti-national and an anti-government , and to learn the fact that the ones in power need not be respected but rather questioned.  

We request the people to please identify the propaganda led by the present government is only to lead us astray from its real failures which are the declining economic and social situation. 

What is driving all of this is the politics of vote banks and seclusion. Today, they divide us on Hindus and Muslims for votes, tomorrow as Brahmins and Shudras, then as Shias and Sunnis, then as rich and poor and so on, ultimately leaving us alone.

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