The Citizenship Amendment Bill was tabled in the Parliament today by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah. And as expected, there was great resistance from the Opposition parties today. The resistance only demonstrates that there’s a very thin line between the ‘secular’ parties in India and those that are identifiably Muslim parties. And sometimes, on matters such as the CAB, the thin line evaporates completely.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who had only yesterday cheered for foreign interference in India’s internal matters, said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill was in violation of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution and opposed the introduction of the Bill itself. In a notice that he submitted, Tharoor said that the CAB infringes upon the principle of “equality before the law” and the “equal protection of laws” guaranteed to all persons, including non-citizens. He said that the Bill also endorses the idea of exclusion on the basis of religion and said that Bill was “an assault on the foundational values of our republic”.
The leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who has made it a habit of making crass remarks, too, adopted the same stance and said that the Bill violated articles of the Indian Constitution. He said that the CAB is nothing but “targeted legislation over minority people of our country”.
Lok Sabha: Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on #CitizenshipAmendmentBill,” It nothing but a targeted legislation over minority people of our country”. Union Minister Amit Shah says, “This Bill is not even .001% against minorities in the country”. pic.twitter.com/vMBwDz5dVk
— ANI (@ANI) December 9, 2019
Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy made similar arguments and said that the CB is “divisive and unconstitutional” and “it violates article 14 of the constitution”. He went one step further to assert, “This law is against everything our founding fathers including Dr.Ambedkar envisioned.”
The language adopted by the ‘Secular’ parties on the Citizenship Amendment Bill is remarkably similar to that of Muslim Communal parties such as the AIMIM and the AIUDF. Of course, Asaduddin Owaisi was more caustic as only he can afford to be but there was no difference in the tone and tenor between the two sides. Owaisi claimed that if the Bill were to be passed, then Amit Shah’s name will be featured with Adolf Hitler and David Ben-Gurion.
The latter is considered the primary national founder of the State of Israel and served as its first Prime Minister. Badruddin Ajmal, the AIUDF supremo, said that the Bill was “against the Constitution and against Hindu-Muslim unity. We will reject this Bill and Opposition is with us on it. We will not let this bill pass.”
The conduct of the ‘Secular’ parties on the matter of the CAB clearly demonstrates that Muslim communal parties will always be their natural allies and they will ‘oppose’ any Bill that the latter are not fond of. On all contentious issues, the ‘Secular’ parties will always side with the hardline Muslim factions. Therefore, a question has to be asked here, if ‘Secular’ parties consistently support Muslim communalists on every contentious matter under the Sun, is there any difference between them and parties such as AIMIM and AIUDF?
The same was observed during the abrogation of Article 370. Nearly all the ‘secular’ parties opposed the move, sometimes, to the chagrin of their own members. In that instance as well, the stand taken by the ‘Secular’ parties was indistinguishable from that of the Muslim communal parties. The same was observed during the move to criminalize Triple Talaq. Every single ‘Secular’ party supported the barbaric practice that infringes upon the dignity of a woman.
Thus, while ‘Secular’ parties may say different things or claim to endorse different values when it really comes down to it, there’s no difference between them and Muslim communal parties. Actions speak louder than words, after all. And however much they may deny it, in the end, their actions betray their intentions.