Prof. Faizan Mustafa, VC of NALSAR Hyderabad, has published a well written political message, in the guise of a reviewing a book titled ‘India’s Founding Moment’ by Madhav Khosla. The interesting parts in the book review are where the Book contents are deftly connected to the ongoing Anti-CAA protests. Prof. Mustafa says, “The nation is fighting for the ‘idea of India’ by protesting against the Narendra Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act and plans for a nationwide National Register of Citizens. But a new book delves deep into the idea of the Indian constitutionalism, at a time when the document has become a talisman for those defending India’s foundations.”
Perhaps this Professor is confident his fate won’t be anywhere similar to a fellow Professor in Mumbai, who also made political comments just last week while holding post of Director, Academy of Theatre Art, but ended up being sent on compulsory leave. As the matter with Senior Professor Yogesh Soman escalated, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said: “The job of a university professor is to teach, and commenting on Rahul Gandhi is not right”.
Perhaps Prof. Faizan Mustafa knew well that the Union Home Minister will not do anything similar to him, the VC of a Central University. Despite the Central Home Minister being castigated for leading a “fascist” Govt, while the State Home Minister is being acclaimed as part of a coalition of “secular” parties! Perhaps the definition of secularism & Fascism needs to change, since the latter seems to believe more in freedom of Speech than the former.
It is an old argument to claim the idea of India is thanks to the British and was enshrined in the Constitution born after 1947. Actor Saif Ali Khan recently got castigated for similar claims. Someone should tell Prof Mustafa that the British East India company was registered in 1600, and has the word “India” within its name since then. This is apart from the numerous references to the Geographic boundaries of Modern India OR Bharat, even in the ancient scriptures, hymns, prayers of Bharatvarsh, recited without change since few millennia.
The geographical extent of India as described in the Vishnu Purana. Also note list of Indian mountain ranges are as follows (in order): Eastern Ghats, Nilgiris, Sahyadris (Western Ghats), Aravalis, Satpura, Eastern Vindhyas, & Western Vindhyas. pic.twitter.com/tAIosK49qv
— Sanjeev Sanyal (@sanjeevsanyal) January 19, 2020
In fact, the original document of the Indian Constitution has images depicting the Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc and nothing at all representing the “azaadi” slogans used by those protesting against Citizenship Amendment Act.
India has given shelter to various refugees, even before the Constitution was accepted and the Republic was born, or European secularism. India has given shelter to various refugees: Christians from Syria, Parsis from Iran, Jews from Poland, victims of 1947 riots in Pakistan, Tibetans, the survivors of 1971 Bangladesh genocide and Sri Lankan Tamils. Any claims that India became secular only because of its Constitution are rubbish! Or as Kangana Ranaut remarked: “If there were no Bharat, what was MAHA-Bharat?”
The Law Professor further says, “The CAA protesters are testimony of the ‘civic culture’ that was born with the Constitution. The citizens’ clarion call is clear — choices made at the founding moment of the republic cannot be altered now. The citizens are now masters of their own destiny and refusing to be governed by a law they consider contrary to their sense of justice and to the foundational principles of the Constitution. They are going much beyond the Supreme Court’s highly technical, narrower and legal techniques of examining the constitutionality of parliamentary laws.”
Talking of Civic Culture of protestors, Prof. Mustafa should spare a thought for protestors who shouted Anti-Hindu slogans, displayed placards denigrating Maa Kali and Swastika symbol most revered by Hindus, those members of SDPI who came to assassinate public figures in a pro CAA rally in Bangalore but instead attacked an innocent.
What about the members of NSUI in JNU who opposed neutral students from registering for the new semester by violent means and violated HC orders by protesting near Main building, confining a Lady Professor for many hours, vandalising the server room to prevent online student registration; is this civic culture?
The Leftist student’s union in JNU is finally claiming to be the victim while calling others as perpetrators, after unleashing all their violence. And those in Shaheen Baug who have violated prohibitory orders and blocked main arterial roads since weeks causing grave hardships to common citizens who don’t have any issue with this Citizenship Amendment Act. Any comments Prof. Mustafa about the ‘civic culture’ in such protests? If he finds these constitutional, I’m sure the concerned Article/Schedule can be mentioned. And to say Citizens have a better interpretation of the Constitution that even Supreme Court, makes one rub eyes to check if this is indeed a VC of a National Law University! If the foundational principles of the Constitution are sacrosanct, what about the insertion of the word “secular” into the preamble, done surreptitiously by Indira Gandhi in 1976 during the Emergency as 42nd amendment? Does that count as opposing the foundational principles OR aligned to it? Finally, what was India between 1950 & 1976: secular, non-secular or communal?
Calling ‘citizens as masters of their own destiny, and refusing to be governed by a law they find contrary to their sense of Justice’, is a very shabby way to justify violence protests by a select few, with misinformation and propaganda by their supporters in Media, Academia, Arts, Literature, etc. Isn’t there something called collective responsibility, or duties by the same people protesting for their rights? The CJI reminded all of the same, in this very context just last week.
If those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act are so concerned about the constitution, why not campaign for the next election with an anti-CAA agenda in their manifesto, win to have a simple majority and repeal the same Law in Parliament? Will not this be a way to uphold the highest values of Constitutional Democracy? Why rather burn railway stations, uproot tracks, attack police stations after massive stone-pelting, support Jinnah, Kashmir separation and Moplah Riots of Kerala, and what not? When those allegedly ‘destroying’ the Constitution by supporting CAA, have not done anything similar, what is the tearing hurry for those opposing CAA to ‘save’ the Constitution through such means? Even Students are not spared of this dirty political game as exposed by the Justice Shamsuddin Committee report on torture rooms for neutral students not supporting the Leftist groups in Kerala student politics.
As a Professional, Prof. Mustafa would find it interesting to know that another group of professionals who have been targeted, with an intention to hurt their Professional work, just because of having an opinion on Citizenship Amendment Act, are Doctors. Vadodara has witnessed leaders of Muslim community issue open calls to boycott few Doctors for alleged support to CAA-NRC and speaking against violence in the name of protests on various fora. The irony is that many of them had never commented on CAA at all. Things got worse when Individual Doctors were targeted by vested interests, using CAA-NRC as a pretext, as with Dr. Ranjith Vijayhari who runs a Gastro Clinic in Trivandrum
I am Dr.Ranjit Vijayahari. I run a Gastro Clinic along with my wife at trivandrum.
As an activist of Seva Bharathi, I have done my utmost for the needy irrespective of religion.
But now, Jihadi elements are targeting my practice after I supported #CAA.@AmitShah@HMOIndia
— Dr Ranjit Vijayahari (@RVijayahari) January 15, 2020
Most unfortunate is the case of Dr. Vyas Vaidyanathan, an Intensive Care Specialist at Avitus Hospital Palakkad, Kerala, who was doxed and emails were sent to Avitis Hospital Management demanding his sacking, who succumbed to the pressure.
The management felt that I’ve caused them a significant amount of disrepute on account of my tweets (where I’ve not mentioned any religion and have only asked for the removal of illegal immigrants) , and asked that I resign within 24hrs pic.twitter.com/62VcwQWDrG
— VedVyazz (@vedvyazz) January 22, 2020
All this for supporting CAA on Twitter and asking illegals to be deported! And this is the fate of an expert Doctor who comes back to his roots in Palakkad, to help local healthcare needs hitherto unmet. He quit Palakkad for good on Jan 22nd, 2020.
Would Prof. Mustafa take a stand on the blatant violation of IPC 153, 295 & 295 (A) against those who serve society? Or is it justified on the grounds that ‘citizens as masters of their own destiny, and refusing to be governed by a law they find contrary to their sense of Justice’. Why is it that those opposing CAA as unconstitutional, never find a voice to call out such hate crimes against the Community of “Healers”?
It is no surprise that such reviews are covertly used to justify violence and other unconstitutional means of protest and then claim it is an “agitation to protect Constitution.”
No wonder, when appeasement becomes a norm, even equality seems like oppression.
The biggest irony is, the strongest protestors to this affirmative action in CAA, are the very ones who have been beneficiaries themselves since decades. CAA in fact implements the same unfulfilled promises made by Gandhi, Nehru and other leaders at the time of Partition.
So, Prof. Mustafa can perhaps ponder, who will the founders of Indian Constitution be with: those who implemented CAA or those protesting against it by unconstitutional means, supported by those claiming violent protests are a battle to save the constitution?