Dangerous Game --Inciting Indians to protest against Pakistan

By Vijaya Pushkarna

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressing the gathering after dedicating the 5 DRDO Young Scientists Laboratories to the Nation, in Bengaluru on January 02, 2020.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a new agenda for Indians. He wants us  to hit the streets of New Delhi, Bengaluru , Kolkota and other Indian cities, and protest against what the Pakistan government is doing with its minorities!

Equally, he wants the Congress leadership to train their tongues, not against  the Citizenship Amendment Act, but against the Pakistan government.

“Pakistan was formed on the basis of religion, religious minorities are being persecuted there. The persecuted were forced to come to India as refugees. But Congress and its allies don’t speak against Pakistan, instead they are taking out rallies against these refugees,” Modi said in Karnataka’s Tumkur on Thursday.

Modi, as is his wont, conveniently twists the truth: the rallies are not against the refugees from the neighbouring countries. They are against his  government for using religion  and cherry picking who can become an Indian citizen – Hindus, Sikhs, Budhists,Christians and Jains--, and who cannot –Muslims.

It is a fact of history that the Muslim League and Jinnah wanted an Islamic state in the form of Pakistan, which has small sprinklings of other communities. It is equally true that India chose to be secular, taking people of all religions, and the Constitution asserts that unambiguously.

A very simple rationale that makes the protests in favour of allowing persecuted Muslims too in the country, is based on the premise that India is home to Muslims no less than to people of other faiths.

Modi is also treading on dangerous territory, in inciting Indians to raise their voice against a neighboring country, however hostile the neighbor may be. The Ministry of External Affairs has just about explained India’s position on the CAA –weeks after doing so on the abrogation of Art 370 – to the world community. Now they may have to start explaining the Prime Minister’s statement at a rally !

The government is well within its rights to defend the law it has enacted. And the ruling party is at it, with plans of press conferences and rallies to explain their stand all over the country. It could also consider political measures to defuse the tension on the streets. But what it should not do is attempt to direct the public anger at Pakistan, when the youth of today want peaceful coexistence in the sub-continent–for the progress of all our people.

It is fair on his part to ask us to sympathise with the victims of atrocities --whether on account of persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh -- or victims of economic hardships and abject poverty millions of Indians are not able to break out of. They have, after all, reposed faith in him.


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