The anti-CAA protests around the country are being projected as an effort to protect the Constitution, particularly its secular spirit. However, as is becoming evident by the day, many supporters look at the movement as something much more. This objective is being articulated by a number of persons in their speeches. There is the man who proposed the plan to ‘cut off Assam’ from the rest of India using the presence of a large Muslim population in the ‘chicken-neck’ area of the north east. (Naming such persons actually serves their purpose as they have a deep need, psychologically, for publicity.) In fact, instead of roundly condemning him for the comments, he has become a ‘martyr’ for the fringe Left-Islamist groups.
Cutting through the humbug at another meeting presided over by AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi, a nineteen year old girl, believed to have links with Maoists, raised pro-Pakistan slogans. Of course, Owaisi has condemned this, but politicians like him should realise that the forces they are using to achieve their ends are not obliged to conform with their objectives – they have plans of their own. It is questionable who is using whom. Then, of course, an AIMIM legislator from Mumbai has made Jinnah like ‘direct action’ threats based in the same old belief that one community has an advantage over the other when it comes to blood-letting.
It is important for ‘mainstream’ political parties to understand the consequences of associating with such movements in the belief that anything that embarrasses the Modi Government favours them. The nation has already seen the malign interpretation of ‘secularism’ by the likes of Digvijay Singh, which has had to be changed to Shiv and Hanuman bhakti by the top leadership to recover political ground. It would be just as embarrassing if the approach to CAA has to be similarly reversed.
Now that the truth is emerging, all those who put India and its democracy first need to disassociate themselves from this unconstitutional opposition to the law. While the protest at Shaheen Bagh is being glorified as heroic, in actual fact it is a group of persons holding an entire area hostage by force. Like similar groups, elsewhere, the extremist elements are using women and children as shields to achieve their nefarious designs. And, of course, to keep the protestors motivated, the process of communal radicalisation will continue further and play an increasing role. Everybody needs to beware of the ramifications to come.