It’s been more than 2 months since the Union government ratified The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, yet there seems to be no stopping to protests which now also extends to arson and stone-pelting, completely in violation of freedom of expression guaranteed under the Article 19 of the Indian Constitution.
Last few days have rather been more distressing as deaths of Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer, Ankit Sharma and Delhi Police head constable Ratan Lal has rather intensified the debates on the sanity of such protests. At least 24 people have died in the last three days, more than 200 have been injured amid Trump’s visit to India— a matter of grave concern, which needs to be addressed effectively.
Thus, it is pertinent to take an account of the misinformation spread by the media houses and few individuals over CAA-NRC that has played an important role in instigating violence. Alongside this, the government must take stringent action against the perpetrators and sensitize them with absolute information and rights guaranteed under the constitution, which doesn’t include damaging the public property or stone pelting on policemen.
For instance, one of the biggest misconceptions has been that CAA-NRC targets Indian Muslims for detention camps or deportation. Now, anyone who has read the act would be able to cite differences between the two. First of all, CAA has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. Secondly, the Act only expedites the pathway to citizenship for the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan (PAB), given their consistent persecution in the Islamic nations.
Similarly, another concern that has been raised by some people is that the act violates Article 14 as it discriminates based on religion. If one reads the court’s interpretation they will realize it’s about not treating unequal equally. Even the constitution permits the classification of people into different categories for different treatment, just that this classification should be reasonable.
So, such protests which have now taken a violent turn, resulting in almost 42 deaths, must be contained, as they vilify the national harmony. Communal clashes are, obviously, not new in India but this time there was no spontaneous trigger as has been the case in many past riots. The government should deploy the security forces tasked to handle such a frenzy crowd. No one has the power to take the law into their hands and controlling the situation is important, so that the city can return to normalcy.