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Citizenship Amendment Bill: Secularism is why we are not Pakistan today!

“Jinnah wanted a separate Muslim state, he was given Pakistan. The rest wanted a peaceful and inclusive land, they became ‘India’. Constitutions were set. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic while Indians wrote the most beautiful preamble ever ‘we the people..’"

unity and secularism

Shivam Singh

Secularism is not just about letting people from all religions prosper under one roof, it’s also about withholding a constitution that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of religion. Well, at least officially. Be very aware, with the Citizenship Amendment Bill the government is about to extinguish the soul of India. It is risking destroying the foundation on which India was built. Perhaps, a lesson in pre-independence history is what this government needs to understand why India as we know it exists today.

Jinnah wanted a separate Muslim state, he was given Pakistan. The rest wanted a peaceful and inclusive land, they became ‘India’. Constitutions were set. Pakistan became an Islamic Republic while Indians wrote the most beautiful preamble ever ‘we the people..’.

A little deeper dig into history would clarify how seeds of secularism were sowed in people of this land. It was never a foreign concept as many claim. The revolt of 1857 was instrumental in uniting Indians under one flag. The Muslims and Hindus fought alongside to dent British pride. Later on, several Ashfaqulla’s and Bhagat Singhs laid down their lives for a country they believed in. In over seven decades of Independence, India had remained what it was envisioned to be –a secular, democratic country that doesn’t discriminate on the basis of religion. And that is what makes us great today. And what happened to Pakistan? The country constitutionally brushed away other religions in favour of Islam. The selfishness in the constitution somehow manages to seep into every leader who takes the throne in Pakistan. The country has perished to coups, chaos and violence. A land which has discrimination in its foundation goes only one way –destruction.

 

One may argue, all religions continue to prosper in India. Nothing is changing that. What is the protest about? Well, if you are smart enough you would know this is the first nail in the coffin of secular structure of India. While, it’s appreciable that government is making citizenship laws easier for foreign nationals but the shamelessness in which it has added ‘non-Muslims’ only to the amendment reeks of a certain aversion from the community.

The argument being put forward by unofficial representatives (read trolls) of the government is that the CAB would deter illegal immigrants and Rohingyas from pouring into India. A lecture on humanity seems futile for these blind followers. However, let’s still give it a shot. Imagine, a mother of two, homeless, jobless, terrorised in her own country wants to settle in India. Her two little ones are as innocents as any Hindu kid but the great ‘Vishwa Guru’ which was once known for offering shelter to anybody in need would first enquire ‘constitutionally’ about the religion of the mother before granting her citizenship.

The question to government is simple –what makes you feel a six year old Hindu, Sikh or Christian kid deserves shelter and citizenship more than a six year old Muslim girl? From when has India started putting religion first before service? You want to check influx of immigrants, make a concrete plan for it which is constructive in nature. By adding ‘non-Muslims’ to the constitution you are sowing seeds of alienation in a community that has always played a productive role in making India the powerhouse it is today. You are setting a precedent which can be dangerously copied. The world respects us today because our values are strong. With CAB the goverment is conveying to the world, all this greatness was a sham. You are telling them–‘it’s okay to discriminate’.


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