The BJP-CAB Controversy        

                                                               

                                                  By Bindo M Lanong

 Today’s BJP-CAB synonym cannot be sundered from anybody’s lips. The two acronyms are inseparable. That is how the fate of the BJP depends on its brainchild, the CAB-2016, worth several lakhs of votes as investment. This is the reason why CAB becomes the prime agenda of the BJP in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll run-up.

        As a matter of fact there should not be any two opinions as to who should be in the cockpit. All right-thinking Indians will agree that the majority Hindus should be in the Bharat Cockpit. Make no mistake, this does not however mean for the BJP only, for the BJP never inherited Bharat as its exclusive ancestral property. Hindus of other political parties and all and sundry, reserve equal claim, unlike what the former Congress President late Deb Kanta Baruah who in his euphoric tone, asserted that India is Indira and Indira, India.

       But make no mistake again, this refers to the cockpit only. The vast Bharat compartment belongs to all Indians, Hindus and non-Hindus, under the unflinching guarantee of the Constitution of India.  Strictly speaking, what the Modi government is pursuing in order to welcome foreigners from the three countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who originally are of Indian origin, to migrate to India is problematic on several counts. It will  to add to the burgeoning population of the country and is a queer attempt which calls for a serious legal and constitutional debate, taking into account the mandated Foreigners Act and the Citizenship Act of the Central government, which subject vests in the apex court which has the authority to examine and interpret those Acts.

     Another factor which cannot be sidelined, is the violation of the model code of conduct governing elections which bans the use of money power, though the code has not been promulgated as yet. Wooing people to immigrate with the lure of facilities is for the Election Commission of India to decide whether this case attracts the ECI provisions. Hence the government decision on such an issue, appears to be malafide ab-initio and in excess of jurisdiction.

It may also be recalled, to add teeth to the argument, that when a similar protracted nationality demand of the Chakmas and Brus who are already scattered by occupation in several parts of the country for decades is in suspended animation, where is the justification for the executive authority to circumvent the law and the Constitution by a brute political decision, emanating from a vitriolic Parliamentary debate. BJP failed to see reason and to show mutual respect to the plea of leaders from other parties.

  Another aspect that the Modi government should seriously consider is the socio-economic burden that the country has to bear. Where will lakhs of foreign invitees be accommodated? What will be the economic packages for them, which should perhaps include housing in decent housing colonies, employment and other engagements etc involving huge budget,  when a large section of poor unemployed and homeless people in India are reeling under extreme austerity, with many farmers and job seekers killing themselves on a daily basis?

     What are the mechanisms to meet such an alarming situation that awaits the passage of the contentious CAB? The only consolation probably would be the rejection of the offer, especially by those invitees themselves who are in foreign land, who have made gainful settlement and live a luxurious life to remain where they are for now, rather than gamble to save BJP, and in the bargain risk their own lives in  India. There is no guarantee that they may even have to be temporarily accommodated along the many river banks of India, where there is no dearth of water supply, of course, to first solve one major problem at least.

    In a gamble, anything is possible, for many in India have faced serious consequences of the much hyped Demonetisation agenda of the government.

Politics for some does not seem to have any barrier. The BJP is unconcerned about the calamity that the CAB will bring with it as long as it serves their purpose. In the process, it only exposes the true colours of such leadership.

 Considering the widespread opposition to the Bill, many political parties and organisations have called for public agitations which could involve the breakdown of law and order, in various parts of the country. If no suo-moto order comes forth from the judiciary, this is a fit case for political parties, NGOs and others concerned to prefer judicial petitions without much delay and watch for the outcome.

       In the North-East, leaders of regional parties met in Guwahati recently and in their considered view of the CAB, they foresee the detrimental effects the legislation will cause to the country and the north east in particular, where in Assam alone the burden caused by alien population entering the state after 24 March 1971 in violation of the Assam accord is seriously felt.

      The meet while demanding abrogation and withdrawal of the Bill, also vowed to intensify opposition to the Bill even at the cost of parting ways with the NDA, since many questions have been raised that the regional leaders are running with the hare, but for obvious reasons, they are also hunting with the hounds.

      It is also high time for the Indian society to revisit the stereotyped concept of the Hindutva philosophy and the notion that India is the natural home of all Hindus, for it does not bode well at all times and in all situations.

     In the context of societal existence, the class society followed in India is found to be the major factor in creating divisions and dissensions. Many a life has vanished in various kinds of exacerbations, with many ending their lives due to frustrations and pressures from their own families and clans.

 We have the dowry demands, which the poor cannot afford; then the honour killings, the acid attacks on women who resist overtures from men they don’t want to marry and all forms of killings to fulfil the flimsy desires of biased clans and local committees. When population dwindles, to maintain the balance, foreigners have to be imported, because the small-family planning practice also hinders, by following its own course.

 

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