CAA is illogical, immoral and ill-timed: Guha

CAA is illogical, immoral and ill-timed: Ramchandra Guha

Historian Ramchandra Guha. (AFP Photo)

Noted historian and author Ramchandra Guha on Thursday said that the "Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is illogical, immoral and ill-timed and even if Supreme Court upholds this law it should be resisted." Guha said it the law is illogical since a lot of refuges such as Tamils excluded; it is immoral since it is discriminatory against one community (Muslims) and ill-timed as it was implemented when the country is facing an economic crisis.

Guha said this while speaking at Thakorbhai Desai Hall in the city in an event organised by "ULGULAN" a newly formed body of civil rights activists who have been protesting the CAA and National Register of Citizens. Ulgulan is derived from the movement led by Jharkhand's tribal leader Birsa Munda's in the late 19th century. 

Speaking on the occasion, Guha claimed that Gandhi would have opposed CAA. "Even if Gandhi never existed, any morally upright democratic citizen would non violently oppose CAA since it illogical, immoral and ill-timed." He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi keeps mentioning about Gandhi's idea in his speeches and articles but the most important thing that he never mentions is Gandhi's idea of communal harmony and Hindu-Muslim unity. In today's context, Guha said, "to counter authoritarian Hindutva forces, we need Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar."

"Ambedkar had to awaken sleeping Dalits and then make the journey. Gandhi had to take effort in uplifting changing in those who were drowned in Hindu caste religions," he said, while adding that "Similarly without the liberal tolerant atmosphere, they would not have tolerated Ambedkar. It is our understanding that it is the savarnas (upper caste) who need to change, to liberate ourselves from the caste Gandhi is necessary and to fight for dalit civil rights, Ambedkar is necessary...we need Gandhi and Ambedkar together."

Guha said that Gandhi's four pillars- untouchability, Hindu-Muslim unity, non-violence and self-reliance- are not robust in present times and "if we wish to make them robust in present times, we can't blindly follow Gandhi. He may be a source of inspiration but we need to draw our own resources and ideas of other great Indians... How we can bring Gandhi and Ambedkar together. Historically they were placed in opposition...we need them both."