Activist Harsh Mander denounced as a “lie” BJP claims that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not be linked with the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The former IAS officer, who was at a protest condemning the CAA at Town Hall on Sunday evening, said that the BJP leadership was using a three-part playbook to “obfuscate” the issue in the eyes of Indian society.
“Among them is the myth that the CAA will have nothing to do with the NRC and that the NRC itself will not affect Indian Muslims. That is completely untrue. We have the comments of Amit Shah himself who said that the two pieces of legislation will be linked,” Mander said.
He predicted the linkage would have a devastating impact on the minority population of India, with thousands of Muslim going into detention camps.
“No one has any right to dictate these kinds of policies on India, especially a movement which never played a part in the Indian freedom struggle,” he added, to cheers from the assembled crowd of nearly 900 students, working-class citizens, homemakers and white-collar professionals.
Mander’s words contradicted a primary argument by supporters of the CAA, who maintain that the dual pieces of legislation will not affect existing minority citizens of India.
Mander described the other two components of the BJP’s playbook as “dividing the population along communal lines” and failing attempts to peaceably suppress dissent, using brute force instead.
“We are seeing all three items of their playbook being used against protesters,” he told DH, pointing out that the levels of police brutality employed against students, especially at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, were beyond the pale.
He added that the only way to counter these tactics was through peaceful protest.