CAA tunnel vision

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 1/8/2020 1:37:44 PM IST

 Those who vehemently opposed the CAB described it as “divisive. It proved true when it divided people across the social and political spectrum. It also divided political parties especially within those that had initially opposed it. The “minority-majority” binary that the BJP sought to create did not work. The Bill amending the Citizenship Act, 1955, was passed, despite the message that it was a highly socially divisive and sectarian one.There are now rumours and murmurs on why some MPs whose parties had opposed the Act instead voted the other way. After CAB was later enacted Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), it continues to divide. The national divide has interesting facts. CAA has succeeded in polarising the nation in tune with the ideology of the party in power at the Centre which continues to push through its various agenda through brute majority in parliament. Unfortunately, in pursuance of this objective the Modi government has decided to fight fire with fire. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is believed to spearhead the CAA has vowed that there will be no rollback. The Modi government has launched a nationwide pro-CAA march across the nations including visitations to houses by its leaders to woo the people in favour of the Act. The government has used the police to book even those who had peacefully protested against the CAA. Be that as it may, the unabated wave of nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and, more recently, the National Population Register has proven to be a most interesting turning point in India’s democracy. When the BJP -led NDA government scored a political point by getting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed smoothly, it had not anticipated what would follow. The opposition parties, too, were taken unawares by the deep ferment that had been building up against the legislation. The protests initially were confined to the north-eastern States when the dubious connection between the CAA and the NRC began to unfold. Advisor to the powerful students union of Assam-AASU and conglomeration of north east students-NESO- Samujjal Kumar Bhattcharya has termed CAA as “unconstitutional”, and “anti-Assam”. Bhattachrya warned that the people of Assam and the north east will continue to oppose the CAA till it is withdrawn. The anti-CAA outpouring has witnessed youths spearheading the agitation across India. Students, including those from elite universities, management schools and the Indian Institutes of Technology, came out in support of the protests and against the CAA. The message was loud and clear: discrimination would not be tolerated and the right to protest peacefully in democratic India was sacrosanct. It appears that the Modi government will not retreat on the CAA even if the sky falls. It is now a matter of who blinks first. That may only happen after more agitations and violence are witnessed but it will be too high a price to be paid. Clearly, the ball in the court of the Modi government and confronting the public or even victimising those who support the CAA is not going to help neither the government nor the people and least of all the economy, when the slowdown appears not to be going away so soon.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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