The Urdu Press: CAB concerns

Seema Chishti
Citizenship Amendment Bill, CAB 2019, CAB protests, Citizenship Bill protests, Citizenship Amendment Bill protests, Amit Shah, Assam protests, Assam CAB protests, India news, Indian Express

Siasat, on the same day, has an editorial based on the “Amreeki” Commission terming the CAB as dangerous. (PTI Photo)

An editorial in Munsif (December 11) says: “The Citizenship Amendment Bill being passed with a majority in the House clearly indicates that the country is losing its secular image — in fact, it has lost it for a long time now. India is by law a secular democracy, where all people from all religions have equal rights and full religious freedom. But now, those, who till a few days ago celebrated November 26 as the birthday of the Constitution, blew apart its secular edifice.”

The newspaper writes that no one minds if citizenship laws are changed and some people allowed in. The objection is to the sole exclusion of Muslims. Muslims are an integral part of India, yet have been left out of the CAB. Hence, this is another stark example of discrimination against Muslims and the first step towards making India a Hindu rashtra.

Siasat, on the same day, has an editorial based on the “Amreeki” Commission terming the CAB as dangerous. It cites the US Commission on Religious Freedoms, which asked for “restrictions” against India’s Home Minister Amit Shah. It says the Commission believes this (CAB) is a step that would take India in the wrong direction. “The Commission believes that the steps taken by Amit Shah and other leaders will ensure that only a few people will be targeted and harassed because of this Bill, especially Muslims. Opposition parties have protested this Bill. India’s precious history is based on secularism and the Constitution gives everyone the same rights.”

Urdu Times in an editorial (‘Yeh Kaisa Insaf’), speaks of “Rohingya Muslims, who have come to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Myanmar... Can Amit Shah not see this? His statements make it clear that he is planning to go after Muslims. He must first think of the rights he enjoys as a citizen. The Constitution has bestowed exactly the same rights on Muslim citizens.” The paper adds: “If non-Muslims are being persecuted on grounds of faith in their countries and we are protecting them, then we must protect all those Muslims too who are being persecuted in their respective countries. This Bill would not have been opposed had all manner of people been accommodated. An MP from Tamil Nadu asked Amit Shah why (Sri Lankan) Tamils, residing in India for 30 years, have not got any justice?”

Roznama Rashtriya Sahara (‘CAB and Secularism!’) is critical of those parties that went along with the BJP to back this Bill. “It is true that to succeed in politics, an ideology is required. But it is also true parties that change ideologies with time to succeed in politics also lose their image quickly. They are unable to do long-term politics. But those parties for whom secular and communal are merely two words, we cannot expect them to think of their long-term interests and that they should be careful to ensure that no one is discriminated against.”

The Etemaad of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslameen says, “We need to oppose this kind of hathdharmi — meaningless stubbornness.”

The NRC spectre

Inquilab (December 12) has an editorial on the National Register of Citizens. The newspaper states that “the BJP is pushing (the NRC) as much as the opposition to it is rising. The BJP claims it is doing this as it is a promise made in its 2014 and 2019 manifestos, and that 13 crore Indians back it. But the BJP omits the fact that all Indians have not voted for it. As far as its manifesto goes, there are so many promises in it, and if the right kind of promises are fulfilled, the lives of Indians could be so much better. The GDP is not under control, nor is productivity getting better. The condition of women has not improved. But the government’s resolve against triple talaq or for demonetisation and GST is not seen in the case of issues that matter.” The editorial says that “despite the BJP being so ‘disappointed’ with the NRC in Assam, it is asking for the process to be carried out all over India. The NRC in Assam cost Rs 1,600 crore, took 10 years and involved 52,000 government officers. To use this formula all over India would be a big waste and drag on time, resources and money.”