Earlier last week, the BJP government at the centre passed the Citizenship Amendment Act in the parliament. This bill offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The centre's narrative around the purpose this bill serves has been about safeguarding the minorities from these neighbouring countries.
But the Modi government has always claimed to have aimed at safeguarding the interest of the country, its people, essentially saying 'India first' to justify every ban, every censorship, every time someone has questioned them.
Is it wrong to point out the hypocrisy that India's largest minority is under violent persecution under the government, while it wants to provide amnesty to those from our neighbours?
On the 22nd of June, a viral video of a young Muslim man tied up, bleeding profusely, with his hands folded, being lynched by a mob that forced him to chant of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Jai Hanuman’ had gone viral.
Later identified as 24-year-old Tabrez Ansari, he was mercilessly beaten till he died in Jharkhand. He was the first victim of hate crime during this government's 2nd term.
A couple of days later, a 26-year-old Muslim teacher was thrown out of a train in West Bengal. He travelling when a mob chanted 'Jai Shri Ram' and threw him out of the moving train.
These are not isolated incidents.
Data compiled by The Hate Crime Watch reveals that as many as 90% of religious hate crimes since 2009 have occurred after Modi came to power at the Centre in 2014.
So being sceptical about the policies and bills presented by this government is not unwarranted.
Besides, if the CAA was truly aimed at protecting minorities as Home Minister Amit Shah has claimed, it would have sought to protect those seeking refuge from persecution and genocide like the Ahmadis in Pakistan and Rohingyas in Myanmar respectively.
But the Modi-Shah government has appealed to the Supreme Court seeking to deport Rohingya refugees from India.
It makes me wonder if this has ever been about protecting minorities.
Or Delhi Police, which comes under the control of Home Minister Amit Shah wouldn't have entered the campus of Jamia Millia Islamia and shelled tear gas on students in a library, where, mind you, nobody was even protesting.
There are literally tons of videos floating on Twitter showing police dragging students on the streets and beating them mercilessly.
In this particular video, a man in civilian clothes also joins Delhi Police to beat up a man after dragging him out of a house.
Eyewitnesses claim that Delhi police also allegedly beat down students offering namaz within the campus.
According to NDTV, around 100 students of the university were detained on Sunday and released around 3:30 am yesterday.
If the state can beat students mercilessly in the presence of media in the national capital, I cannot even fathom the situation in other regions where there has been a media blackout with no internet for days, even months if we are talking Kashmir.
They wanted to make Kashmir "Integral part" of India.— Md Asif Khan آصِف (@imMAK02) December 16, 2019
They ended up making many Kashmir in different parts of India.
Now think about 8 million Kashmiris who have been incarcerated since last 134 days.#JamiaProtest #JamiaMilia #CAAProtests pic.twitter.com/8Dy2oU4Ba4
Yesterday, the Prime Minister had said that those committing arson could be identified by their clothes. One can only wonder what he meant by that!
"In response to Modi's unfortunate comment on the clothes identifying the "group" of those protesting against CAB, NRC and NPR, a protestor takes off his shirt to show his janeu.— Advaid (@Advaidism) December 16, 2019
Now what do you have to say about that Prime Minister?"
- Mohan Guruswamy (FB) pic.twitter.com/3SL94odfYq
And this isn't just about violence on Muslim students. According to The Quint, 113 people have been killed by lynch mobs.
Of the available names, more than 70 of these people are Muslims.
If this data isn't an indicator of how Muslims are othered in India and made to feel like they do not belong here, I don't know what is.
But at least the constitution didn't do that. It promised them a secular nation, a place they could live in and practice their faith without the fear of any consequences.
Now, the Citizenship Amendment Bill, complemented by the NRC is a denial of those fundamental rights granted by the constitution. If it isn't now, it will be. You don't even have to read between the lines. It's not rocket science. History is littered with these examples.
And to those fervently asking protestors to read the CAA before opposing it, maybe you should take a long walk out of your privilege and read the constitution. Citizenship cannot be granted or denied on the basis of one's religion.
The government claims to care about the minorities in neighbouring countries and wants to grant them the opportunity to be citizens of India. But isn't it hypocritical when the largest minority of their own country continues to get persecuted under their leadership?