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Modi’s fascist secularism

Arrogance is a killer,”: Jack Welch. This statement from a World Corporate Guru is surely not just a good feel quote. This is true. When you see many world leaders around, you may question its pragmatism. Modi defenders, and there are many, will dismiss it by saying that all successful men are “blessed” with extraordinary confidence. True and false. Extraordinary confidence and over confidence are divided by a fine line. Prime Minister Modi has just about crossed that line. After the revocation of the Article 370 and the siege of Kashmiris, Prime Minister of India is now emboldened to pass the Citizen Amendment Bill that is clearly seeking Muslim deportation and degradation.

Modi is thinking he is making a smart move by saying that this law gives minorities rights. However, the wrongs of this law far outweigh the rights. The new citizenship law, which was an amendment to a 1955 legislation, allows Indian citizenship to “persecuted” minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, but makes no reference to Muslims. The law, first introduced in Parliament in July 2016, amends the Citizenship Act 1955 by making religion a basis for citizenship. The previous law did not make religion an eligibility criterion to become a citizen.

In today’s India, fascism has overtaken secularism. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier, but could not be taken up in the Upper House, following protests in the northeastern states and resistance from the opposition. The CAB is a clever attempt at faking to protect minorities from neighbouring countries. The law says Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians, and Sikhs, who came to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, will not be treated as illegal anymore. These groups will have easy access to Indian citizenship but of course with one exception-Muslims. The fact that India has nearly 200 million Muslims as the largest minority is a fact that Modi was confident will be taken as tamely by Indians as the nearly 150-day Kashmir imprisonment was treated by Indians. That is where confidence becomes arrogance.

Protests that were limited to Kashmir have started gathering force and spread to 17 states. Modi’s designs are now clear to India and the rest of the world. He is following the Hitler philosophy of Jews cleansing by fast action packed laws and implementation targeting Muslim cleansing. Contrary to his plans this cleansing is likely to bring reactions not just from Kashmir or Pakistan or certain states of India but from many other countries too. Take the case of Assam. The NRC (National Register of Citizens) introduced by the government is like a hit list. It was first published in August, and some 2 million people were listed in this dreaded ranking. The dreadful part is that if they cannot prove their citizenship, they will be put in detention camps and deported. For the moment, the NRC has been confined to Assam. But the government has plans to take it nationwide.

Unlike Kashmir, protests are spreading like an epidemic. The problem with oversized egos is that it takes away the mind’s power of learning and thus makes you repeat lethal mistakes. As in Kashmir, in Guwahati, government has shut down the internet and implemented a curfew. The Indian army has been deployed in Assam and Tripura, with protestors yelling “Go Back Modi” and effigies of the prime minister being set on fire. Protests have also broken out in Delhi, Calcutta, Kerala, and also Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat. Meanwhile the horror of what is likely to happen is slowly dawning on other countries especially neighbouring countries from where these people have migrated from and are likely to seek refuge.

To add fuel to fire, the BJP hardliners have joined the Modi slang wagon with glee. Home minister Amit Shah has described immigrants mainly from Bangladesh as “termites” and claimed the NRC would be used to “remove them”. This means Pakistan has the opportunity to globalize the issue which had become international but was limited to countries that were not too keen on Indian policies. The Pakistani government, that was the first to draw the world attention to the Kashmir crisis calling it not just a political tiff between two nations but a danger the world will face if it does not act, needs to build on this opportunity by:

1. PM’s Call to Action – Referring to the first article published in New York Times on” The World Can’t Ignore Kashmir. We are all in Danger”, August 30th 2019, the PM needs to write another article taking the view of the cross border dangers, regional dangers, and then global dangers as more and more attention is drawn to the spread of racial hatred.

2. Coalition of the Direct Affectees – Pakistan’s relationship with Bangladesh has been at best cold and at worst hostile in the last few years. It is an open secret that the Bangladeshi PM is a strong anti-Pakistan ally of India. However, things may change now. With the prospect of millions of Bangladeshis in detention camps ready for deportation, the Bangladesh government has shown signs of wearing off India. Bangladeshi Foreign minister cancelled visit to India. PM Imran Khan has already broken ice with PM Hasina Wajid by inquiring about her health and there is definitely a greater need for Bangladeshi engagement for closer regional policies.

3. Continuing the Legal Route – The United Nations has called for a meeting on the increasing crisis in India and a more aggressive lobbying action needs to be done to make these meetings more impactful. Already, the United States Commission on International Religion Freedom (USCIRF) has sought sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other principal leadership if the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill is passed by the parliament. “If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the US government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership,” the USCIRF recommended in its statement. Organisations like HRWatch, Genocide Watch and Amnesty International need to be engaged through global seminars to create a universal charter of demands on the atrocious actions of Modi.

Modi is on an irreversible fascist trajectory. His modus operandi will be more bills and more atrocities. As the protests within India mount he will face a dilemma of whether to withdraw or keep the brutality on. His role model Hitler could not reverse his obsession of destruction of Jews and it is likely that Modi will not either. Will the destruction of others become the destruction of Modi only time will tell- but then history’s biggest lesson is that it repeats itself.


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Life expectancy Expected years Mean years GNI per capita HDI Value

at birth of school of school (2011PPP$)

———————————————————————————————

1990 60.1 4.6 2.3 3195 0.404

1995 61.5 5 2.8 3361 0.428

2000 62.8 5.4 3.3 3358 0.449

2005 64 6.5 4.5 3938 0.499

2010 65.3 7.5 4.7 4227 0.524

2015 66.6 8.2 5.1 4727 0.550

2016 66.8 8.6 5.1 4891 0/556

2017 66.9 8.5 5.2 5033 0.558

2018 67.1 8.5 5.2 5190 0.660

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(The writer can be reached at andleeb.abbas1@gmail.com)

Andleeb Abbas, "Modi’s fascist secularism," Business Recorder. 2019-12-23.
Keywords: Social sciences , Law and Humanities , Muslim deportation , Citizenship law , Citizenship Act , Kashmir crisis , Citizenship , Arrogance , Pragmatism , Leadership , PM Modi , PM Imran Khan , HM Amit Shah , India , Pakistan , USCIRF , BJP , NRC , PM , 2009

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