BJP confident that CAA protests have 'no shelf life'

BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, however, does not see a “long shelf life” against the CAA, which he believes that the Opposition parties have “stoked for their political gains”.

As protests continue against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) across the University campuses and outside in different parts of the country, there is a message for the Modi 2:0 government, that when it goes for contentious decisions which have the potential to affect a community or population nationwide, it cannot sit complacently or just ignore an issue that rankles many.

It is now increasingly clear that the BJP did not visualize the scale of protest over CAA either in the North East or in educational institutions, where unlike social media, the party has found it difficult to match the pitch of the Opposition.

BJP general secretary P Muralidhar Rao, however, does not see a “long shelf life” against the CAA, which he believes that the Opposition parties have “stoked for their political gains”.

However, there is a clear difference in the pattern of reactions over some recent issues.

The Muslim community, a large section of which resented the Ram temple verdict in favour of Hindu side, did not voice their reservations vocally, as the verdict was that of the Supreme Court and not the government. Besides, the Ayodhya issue had primarily a localized influence in Ayodhya. As the issue dragged on for decades, people were losing interest in it. 

When the government passed the triple talaq bill, many within the community also accepted it as sort of a “gender justice” measure and women across the communities were in its favour. The abrogation of special status of Jammu and Kashmir led to outrage in a section of the intelligentsia and political groups but even in past. the issues of Kashmiri Muslims did not resonate across all Muslims in the country.

The CAA thought did not affect Indian Muslims as such, an argument that is also being advanced by the BJP to cool the frayed tempers, but in this case, questions were raised over the long-term intent of the government, which has been making a high decibel pitch for a national level NRC of late. 

Muslims by and large felt that the CAA is a precursor to NRC in the nation, in which many Muslims may have to lose citizenship on the pretext of documents. It is this apprehension that has mainly led to widespread violent protests.

Rao, however, is confident that the controversy over CAA will die down sooner than later, as the issue has no substance and does not affect Indian Muslims in any real way.

While Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said “laws and falsehood are being spread as CAA is not applicable to any Indian citizen”, Muralidhar Rao said, “I see no reason why Indian Muslims would be protesting for no Indian citizenship to Pakistani Muslims.”

BJP has also decided to hold district wise “intellectuals meetings” to counter the “propaganda” against the CAA in over 700 districts of the country.

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