The mass hysteria behind India’s CAA - Is it really so fascist?

PAk Hindus_1  H
India's public protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has successfully managed to draw the attention of international media and found a place on front pages globally. Left wing media highlighted the protests and portrayed the new act as 'anti-Muslim' and 'fascist'. The hysteria involved in the rhetoric however, shows much confusion and emotion and the facts are lost in their understanding of what is truly intended.
The Wall Street Journal, Guardian, New York Times to name just a few left-leaning outlets were responsible for adding to this confusion and accused the Modi government of ‘fascism’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’ This is a gross exaggeration if not blatant lie. Let us look at the facts.
First off - CAA amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a pathway to Indian citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014. Muslims were not given such eligibility. Many Muslims from minor sects such as Shias, Sufis, Ahmaddiyas felt that they too deserved such consideration given the ongoing discrimination they face from the Sunni majority in these aforementioned nations.
Beneficiaries of the Amended Act were 31,313 people: 25,447 Hindus, 5,807 Sikhs, 55 Christians, 2 Buddhists and 2 Parsees. Those are the numbers. The bill does not specifically state that India is ‘life insurance’ for ‘all Hindus or ‘all non-Muslims living in Muslim countries’ for that matter : albeit how Israel serves as life insurance for Jews, if one were to give a more global comparison. A Jew from any part of the world - whether Europe,China, Ethiopia or the USA can move to Israel, persecuted or not.
India is not offering the same to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs or any of the followers of the Dharmic religions for that matter. The Act does not encompass or include migrants from non-Muslim countries fleeing persecution to India, particularly Iranian Bahai, Hindu refugees from Sri Lanka, and Buddhist refugees from Tibet, China. Also, it does not apply to Hindu and Buddhist Rohingya, Balinese Hindus, White followers of Hare Krishna in the West - these communities are not given any consideration under this act. 

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However, to call it ‘anti Muslim ‘or even equate it to ethnic cleansing is simply far fetched given the nature of the act and demographics. If the Modi government was so racist and anti Muslim, then why would Ahmaddiya Muslims even request permission to move to India? If India is fascist and Modi is Hitler’s uncle, then why are certain Muslim sects protesting to come in?
If the combined Hindu population outside India (20+ million including Sri Lankan Tamils and Balinese) as well as all non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were to enter India at once, the combined figure would in no way be comparable to India’s Muslim population of around 200 million and India’s total population of 1.4 billion.
Of note, Sonia Gandhi a White Italian, was elected Prime Minister of India in 2004. This was possible because she got citizenship through marriage to Rajiv Gandhi, another former PM. Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner through other means, such as marriage, in her case : this still applies to Muslims from Pakistan and other countries and is not affect by CAA. In comparison, only a born USA citizen can become the president of that country.
Given the data, the mood behind the riots against CAA, which especially accuse it of being so nefarious are misinformed.
(The author writes for Times of Israel and other reputed newspapers)



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