This morning I had a pleasant surprise in The Hindu. It had published a response to what the leader of the CPI (Marxist) and Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan had written in The Hindu titled “Time to defend India’s secularism,” on Dec. 18, 2019 expressing his opposition to Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA). Dr. Subramanian Swamy rebuts all the three reasons the Communist leader had given in his article.
The present, ongoing agitation reminds me of JP Movement which led to 1975 Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi and the August, 1946 ‘Direct Action’ started by the Muslim League leading to unprecedented holocaust in Kolkata to make the functioning of the Interim Government led by Congress impossible so that division of the country became an imperative and naturally the creation of Pakistan. The grant of independence was just one year away — 15, August 1947.
I have read that history has a quirky way of repeating itself. Perish the thought. We are in 2019 with a new BJP Government, not the Congress. For now there is no such danger despite the tenor and tenacity of the on-going protests.
After all, CAA did not happen like a surprise. All the political parties and leaders knew about its arrival. It had passed through the Joint Select-Committee of Members of Parliament some years back and in fact re-introduced in December this year (2019). It was passed by the democratically and constitutionally elected Parliament with a comfortable majority. Yet, the Opposition refuses to honour this democratic decision.
Can’t they wait for another four years for the next Parliamentary election (2024) to win the election and undo whatever this BJP Government has done? Democracy means patience, tolerance and respect for the rule of law. Therefore, Dr. Swamy has discharged his democratic and patriotic duty by responding to political leaders like Pinarayi Vijayan and indirectly to all those of his kind. If political and intellectual giants like Dr. Swamy do not respond and react, these pseudo-Secularists and defenders of Muslim minorities would go unchallenged and would even succeed. That would be a bad day for the Hindu majority as it happened in 1947.
Of course, it is difficult to convince most of the present day Opposition leaders because, as Spenser said, “Convinced against your will you are of the same opinion still.” Yet an honest and a timely response was needed and Dr. Subramanian Swamy had given it in full measure. But there is a caveat. As Alexander Pope had famously declared, “Our judgements like our watches, none go just alike, yet each believes his own.” The Congress, TMC and the Left ‘liberals’ are bound to believe their own watches !
Dr. Swamy writes about the ground realities to put sense into the thinking of some people. [Peaceful, Democratic protest as is happening in Hong Kong for months now is okay in a democracy. But, certainly not okay if the protest is not peaceful as is now in our country].
He writes: “The need for this Bill (now Act) arose partly because the Islamic theocratic nations of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan have brutally persecuted non-Muslim minorities since 1947. This has led to a sharp fall in the proportion of the non-Muslim minorities in the total population of these countries.”
Dr. Swamy says that the problem of religious persecution by Pakistan was acknowledged by the then Working Committee of the United Congress Party which passed a resolution as long back as on November 25, 1947, urging granting of Citizenship and “full protection to those non-Muslims from Pakistan who have come over to India or may do so to save their life and honour.”
Dr. Swamy responds to other issues also like Hindutva and the Constitution but the point he tries to impress upon is that the Kerala Chief Minister “seems not to have appreciated the historical context of the CAA and the need to bring to a closure the sad consequence of religious theocracy in our neighbouring nations.”
Apparently, the Kerala Chief Minister has no qualms about our neighbouring nations — Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh — having Islam as the State religion, with consequential denials of many rights to the religious minorities, while gloating over secularism of Hindu majority India.
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