The farmers protesting against the farm bills is now a well-noticed affair. Indeed, this is among the many widespread demonstrations against laws in India seen in recent times, some or other section of the country is always on streets.
Protests and demonstrations are a method of registering discomfort or disagreement on any issue, which would always contribute to the strengthening of democracy.
What we are talking about is how the Government treats these protests as mere opposition and manages to pass the bills despite, and in most cases amidst the protests.
If I can write effectively tonight, you will be seeing the" pattern" I see.
India is witnessing massive agitation against three farm bills ( now laws) passed in august 2020 in spite of criticism, for the last 90 days and still.
Read through my post on farm laws for a detailed discussion.
Reception of the Bill-
There have been amendments to the bills since their enactment, though failed to satisfy the demonstrators who emphasize absolute repeal of the bills.
The government has held 11 rounds of discussions with the protestors, the last being on 22nd January. It's been over a month since the last talk round and the Government seems to have moved on and over the demonstrations, as they cease to react anymore.
They resort to discrediting the movement, namecalling the protestors( terrorists, anti-nationals, separatists, etc)cease internet in the demonstration site, dig pits and nails on the way to the demonstration, deploying huge defense forces around the demonstration area.
CAA gives eligibility for Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians( excluding Muslims) from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who reached India before 2015.
Reception of the Bill-
Widespread protests and demonstrations expanding months were observed against it accusing the acts to be discriminatory against Muslims. CAA ignores persecuted minorities from other regions such as Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar as well as Hazaras, Ahmadis, atheists, and political dissenters, who face persecution in Pakistan which was also a cause of scrutiny.
The government resorted to discrediting the protestors and labeling them anti-national and terrorists. Later slowed down the internet speed, finally turning a blind eye. Yes, similar pattern.
My dreamy head is hovering over what the combination of CAA with the other two proposed citizenship registration bills (NPR and NRC) if enacted all over the country would result into, but let's keep it for another post and concentrate on the subject of how Government ignores protests.
Though a fact,
This act is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship.
This bill has two parts-
Reorganization bill(2019)- splits the state into two union territories-one comprising Jammu and Kashmir, the other Ladakh( earlier a part of Jammu). While both of them will now be put directly under the Central Government of India, UT of J&K will have an electorate assembly, Ladakh will not.
Abrogation of Article 370- This article of the constitution accorded special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir- provision for its own constitution, autonomy over creating laws, and not enforcing many created by the central govt. This status is now scrapped.
Abolishing the status of "permanent residence" provided by Article 35 A of the Indian constitution-basically implies anyone outside Kashmir can now acquire immovable property, government employment, scholarships provided by the state.
Reception of the bill-
Immediately after the law was passed, the defense forces outlaying the number of civilians were deployed, curbs and curfews, horrific human rights abuses and imprisonment, internet ceased for over five months, a crackdown on local leaders and former ministers of state.
MANY MORE ON STREETS-
The last couple of years has witnessed doctors, lawyers, Dalits, labor workers, teachers, and many more on streets protesting against legislatures passed concerning them.
This is concerning.
But, if u see this pattern in how the Government responds to these opposing voices as I see, it is more concerning to me.
If turning a deaf ear and blind eye to opposition becomes the ultimate resort, nothing is more threatening to the fundamental rights of people in this country.
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