Like discussions on TV news channels that have to last the specified amount of time even if the subject is a dead horse being flogged in many ways, the ‘controversy’ on the CAA is requiring increasing amount of energy with diminishing results. People are being killed, the UN is dabbling in India’s internal politics, and social media is awash with well-funded interventions just so that the narrative can be twisted beyond recognition. Wherever a straight debate takes place, discussion can barely last fifteen minutes without repetition. So, every effort is being made to rope in ‘celebrities’ of various kinds to give weight to an otherwise hollow argument.
The same is being done in Parliament by the opposition parties, at present, to communicate their ‘concern’ for India’s minorities, with all the slogan and placard raising, and physical intimidation. However, when it will come time to actually present their arguments, it will be just a rehash of what took place when the CAA was passed. They have nothing new to say. The government will be blamed for the deaths in the Delhi riots, but retreats will be rapidly sounded when the actual (bitter) facts begin to be stated. The subject can only be kept alive by ensuring there is no resolution.
And when Parliament and the elected politicians cannot resolve issues, and the Supreme Court is overwhelmed with petitions it is not required or equipped to deal with, everything will return to the common people. They can choose to disrupt their lives with riots, or resolve to elect better leaders. It is worth noting that, while politicians are busy raising the temperature on CAA, very few have been seen in the riot affected areas of Delhi attempting to heal the wounds. It has all been left to the police, which are rendered toothless by the fact that getting courts to punish the culprits has become near impossible. One needs only to see what is happening with the Nirbhaya case convicts. Those unaffected demand impossibly high standards, while those in the line of fire cannot even hope for the basics.
India’s future depends on the resolution of this dilemma. Nothing is worse for democracy than a ‘silent majority’. It should not wait merely for elections to express its opinion; it should actively participate in the process on a daily basis so that behind-the-scenes manipulators do not hijack their mandate. If they have chosen a government, the people should put their weight behind it.