The mass hysteria behind India’s CAA – is it really so fascist?

India’s public protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) which have been going on since December of last year has successfully managed to draw the attention of international media and found a place on front pages globally.
It’s currently been paused since March, in the wake of the Covid pandemic.

Left wing media highlighted the protests and was quick to portray the new act as ‘anti-Muslim’ and ‘fascist’ among other things.
The hysteria involved in this rhetoric shows much confusion riddled with emotion.

The Wall Street Journal, Guardian, New York Times to name just a few liberal/left-leaning outlets were responsible for adding to this hysteria and accused the Modi government of and ‘ethnic cleansing.’

Let us look at the facts:
First off – CAA amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a pathway to Indian citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who fled persecution from Muslim majority Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014.
Majority Muslims were not given such eligibility.
The left talks about minority rights, but when it comes to foreign nations, they only view collective groups as avatars for Western stereotypes.

Many Muslims from minor sects such as Shias, Sufis, Ahmaddiyas felt that they too deserved such consideration given the ongoing discrimination they face from the Sunni majority in these aforementioned nations.

Beneficiaries of the Amended Act were 31,313 people: 25,447 Hindus, 5,807 Sikhs, 55 Christians, 2 Buddhists and 2 Parsees. Those are the numbers.
The bill does not specifically state that India is ‘life insurance’ for ‘all Hindus or ‘all non-Muslims living in Muslim countries’ for that matter : albeit how Israel serves as life insurance for Jews, if one were to give a more global comparison.

A Jew from any part of the world – whether Europe,China, Ethiopia or the USA can move to Israel, persecuted or not.

India is not offering the same to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs or any of the followers of the Dharmic religions for that matter.
The Act does not encompass or include migrants from non-Muslim countries fleeing persecution to India, particularly Iranian Bahai, Hindu refugees from Sri Lanka, and Buddhist refugees from Tibet, China. Also, it does not apply to Hindu and Buddhist Rohingya, Balinese Hindus, White followers of Hare Krishna in the West – these communities are not given any consideration under this act.

However, to call it ‘anti-Muslim’ or even equate it to ethnic cleansing is simply far fetched given both the nature of the act and demographics. If the Modi government was so racist and anti Muslim, then why would Ahmaddiya Muslims even request permission to move to India? If India is fascist and Modi is Hitler’s uncle, then why are certain Muslim sects protesting to come in?
Europe, in 2015 took in a million Middle East refugees, was that done in an effort to ethnically cleanse? NO
In fact, the same left was supportive of it.
Why are these refugees any different from the Syrians or Libyans fleeing their own countries??

If the combined Hindu population outside India (20+ million including Sri Lankan Tamils and Balinese) as well as all non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan were to enter India at once, the combined figure would in no way be comparable to India’s Muslim population of around 200 million and India’s total population of 1.4 billion.

Of note, Sonia Gandhi a White Italian, was elected Prime Minister of India in 2004. This was possible because she got citizenship through marriage to Rajiv Gandhi, another former PM.
Citizenship of India by naturalization can be acquired by a foreigner through other means, such as marriage, in her case : this still applies to Muslims from Pakistan and other countries and is not affect by CAA.
In comparison, only a born USA citizen can become the president of that country.

So, granting asylum to 30 000 people is not going to demographically affect India or its Muslim population in a significant way for now. I don’t see how this is ethnic cleansing, but Europe granting asylum to millions of refugees is viewed as benevolent by the liberal media. Why the double standard?
Maybe, in future Ahmadiya Muslims, Shias, Sri Lankan Tamils or Hare Krishnas who also want to move to India could petition to be included whether they feel persecuted or not, but still want to emigrate.

Nobody should feel that they’re being persecuted because of religions or race.
Who knows how this precedent will unfold, but at this point, it’s obvious that the left-wing rhetoric hints that they don’t want Hindus and other groups to get asylum and have spun a factless narrative about India being ‘fascist’.

Given the data, the mood behind the riots against CAA displays a lot of mass hysteria and misinformation which need to be addressed.

About the Author
Avi Kumar grew up in Sri Lanka. As a member of the Tamil minority, he has a unique perspective when it comes to growing up in a war zone. From an early age in order to survive, he learned to remain silent about controversial issues when it wasn't safe to speak about them. Avi has lived in five different countries and speaks ten different languages. Fortunately, one of his ten languages is English, you wouldn't have had the slightest idea what you are reading. Avi loves wildlife photography and writing about religious and political issues with his unique perspective.
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