December 16
13:01 2019

congress protest against CAB

“Unfortunately, sometimes the escape becomes the trap”

Last Year I chanced upon watching “Under the Shadow”, a Hollywood Horror movie directed by a British-Iranian filmmaker named Babak Anvari. I was quite intrigued by the neat and no-nonsense style of Anvari’s filmmaking and since then I had developed a fascination to watch his films. And, yesterday, I happened to watch “Wounds”, another horror film by Anvari.

And although Wounds is nowhere near the high standard Anvari has set for himself, it explores some dark alleys of human psychology and social behaviour. And it does this with sincerity. But is sincerity a sufficient condition in creating good art? As it turned out, it is not. Sometimes, sincerity in politics is also not sufficient condition in opposing certain policies of the Ruling government. Let me dwelonthe supposed sincerity with which the Opposition Parties, mainly, the Indian National Congress, the Grand Old Party (GOP) of the Indian politics had been opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

The opposition calls or rather alleges the CAB as an attempt to alienate India’s Muslims and as such it is graveyard of Indian Democracy- which perhaps it is. In alleging so, the GOP and its leadership walked straight into the trap of the BJP, regardless of its sincerity in opposing the Bill and championing the cause of the ever being persecuted Indian Muslims. The BJP chanced upon to charge the Congress that it is speaking the “language of Pakistan” on the CAB. The leadership of the Congress may have spoken of an “idea of India” that is plural, diverse and tolerant as an expression of its opposition to the CAB, but that is tame, and in the realm of abstraction. The Congress leadership continues to draw its opposition, only to find itself appearing to be speaking the language of the Pakistan, ignoring the fact that Modi, BJP and the RSS had a definitive cultural strategy in place, from which, they created a compelling story of majoritarian victimhood and told it in a million ways.

The CAB or NRC is part of the discourses of this compelling story of Majoritarian Victimhood.
This is not something they had created for just winning election after election. But had patiently told, retold, illustrated and annotated over the decades. From time to time, to keep the story fresh and renew its purpose, they created fresh cultural memories around old themes.
Those fresh memories were called beef-eating, cow protection, urban naxals, sedition, citizenship bill, love jihad, triple Talaq and NRC, etc. The Congress leadership placed an implicit trust on itself in contributing in retelling the BJP’s story. Hence, it seems to lack the perception to address the cultural questions with a serious and meticulous counter-strategy, thereby, walking straight into the cultural trap set by the BJP around the Majoritarian victimhood. Sample the speech of the Rahul Gandhi when he deviated from the CAB issue and invoke the name of the Savarkar. The BJP was happy to keep the debate and hashtags flowing around it, because it told people the story they had created in a more live and illustrative manner. There was so much in the CAB that harms the interests of the Majority Hindus which could be exploited to checkmate the BJP, but the Congress leadership, in its haste to oppose the Bill as being anti-constitutional or anti-Indian Muslim somehow lost the plot. It manifests that the Congress did not culturally apply itself on countering the BJP on the CAB issue. The Congress’ fear that the CAB would destroy the secular character of the nation by targeting Muslims might be real, but it somehow failed figure out that the CAB can potentially affect the interests of the Majority Hindus.
The main push and logic behind bringing this Bill was to give a safe haven to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

What opposition parties and the Congress in particular be telling to the Majority Hindus that were forced to believe that the CAB is an answer to address their victimhood, that our country is not “Dharmashala” for those Hindus of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The Congress should be asking why Indian Hindus should be worried on where anyone from Pakistan or Bangladesh goes, it is none of the business of the converting Government. The BJP government, instead of concerning about the Hindus from the other countries must be worrying to provide jobs and working for the betterment of existing Hindus, instead of adding more outsiders as competitors to their benefits.
The Congress instead of talking on how the CAB would endanger the interests of the Indian Muslims, should be countering the BJP on how the Citizenship Bill would impact the very interest of the so called “Victimized Indian Hindus” with the addition of lakhs of persecuted Hindus of other countries getting eligibility to share the all the benefits the country offers to Hindus. The question the Congress should be asking is whether the so called persecuted Hindus who are proved disloyal to their homelands on the ground of what they call religious persecution would remain loyal to their new country of citizenship.

The Congress should be cornering the BJP by asking “Why should India not send those persecuted Hindus back and insist on Pakistan and Bangladesh to ensure their security and other rights, instead of inflicting them as burden on the nation. Hindus of India to be told that the Hindus from other courtiers after getting Indian citizenship would rapidly settle down and swamp the local Hindus.

The Congress leadership should build a campaign on how CAB could pose a national security threat where Pakistani agents could be sent across as persecuted Hindus or Christians to blend into the population and work themselves into positions where they might be of use to the Pakistani strategic interests.

The Congress, instead of opposing from the persecution of Muslim perspective, should be countering the BJP’s “Majority victimhood” narrative, on how the amendment in the citizenship law is the latest stunt pulled by the ruling BJP to feed the Frankenstein’s ‘majoritarianism’ monster created in Sangh Parivar’s Hindutava lab. Unfortunately, many Hindus are rejoicing over the amendment without realizing that it is not only against Constitutional values, but also against Hindu Dharma, and will devour them ultimately.

Hindus need to think why at a time when the country is reeling under economic recession, high unemployment rate, rising economic inequality and crony capitalism, the saffron brigade is one after another putting up those issues which end up in divisive Hindu-Muslim debate. The poor state of economy is hitting all the communities, but going by their proportion in the population, more Hindus are suffering in comparison to others. However, public attention is being diverted from the real issues through communal narrative. Those in power know that if bread and butter will dominate public discourse, they will not win any election. Like other acts of the saffron brigade, the citizenship law is also aimed at strengthening Hindu majoritarianism in India to grab and remain in power, but if allowed to succeed, it will break Hindu society into fragments as in Pakistan created on the basis of religious majoritarianism. No Doubt, the CAB would help India turning a mirror image of Pakistan, an argument on which the Congress should be framing its strategy to counter the Majority Victimhood narrative of the Saffron Brigade.

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