An Insight to BVSS- Newsletter, 2020 Edition

From the Desk of the Editor..

प्रियमित्रों,सादरप्रणाम

राष्ट्रीय युवा दिवस एवंनववर्षकीहार्दिकशुभकामनाएं

Indian democracy is surely maturing. It has got the ability to discuss the real issues faced by the country and its citizenry. The role of media and the addition of social media to it, is helping people of our country especially the youth to form their opinion on each issue. The youth of our country do not have any baggage and as such are not averse to forming their opinion and expressing it.

The surest example of this is the ability of our country to stand the sheer number of structural decisions which are largely CORRECTIVE in nature, taken during a short period of 7 months of this new government.The apprehension raised by previous governments and political persons qua the structural changes being non-acceptable to the society at large, have by and large proved to be baseless.

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (“CAA“) is the last such change and is being widely discussed amongst the masses of the country. Those who are analysing the CAA in light of the prevailing factual circumstances and the history attached to the legislation, are by and large supporting the legislation. The flip side however has been those who are opposing the CAA without facts and without any basis. Celebrities who are star campaigners against the CAA have been found to have no facts and knowledge as to why they are opposing it. Even journalists (at least that’s what they claim themselves to be) and politicians / senior lawyers have been writing while opposing the same with rhetoric but not mentioning the reasons for their dissent. To quote from – “In 2020, put people first: Protesters are not ‘urban naxals’. Government needs to listen to them[1]”, though not even a single line have been stated as regards what’s wrong with the CAA, following deeply concerning phrase is found appearing – “UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, once the poster boy of militant Hindutva……”

In wake of above, it is our responsibility to prepare the upcoming generations to differentiate and discriminate between narrative and truth. Our future would depend upon the ability of the coming generations in identifying the truth and walk that path, while dismissing the propaganda and the false narrative. For that study of the values, culture and history of our country is inevitable.

With this I come to the debate that CAA is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, and the argument in saying so is that though it mentions six communities[2], but does not include muslims. This argument seems to be a political rhetoric, as Article 14 does not provide for universal equality, rather it strikes at class legislation. It is settled law that equality has to be guaranteed amongst equals. In K.T. Moopil Nair[3], it was held by the Supreme Court that lack of classification i.e. treating unequals as equals is itself discriminatory and unconstitutional. Thus, considering that the neighbouring countries i.e. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are muslim countries[4], and that the object of CAA is to provide safe abode for the persecuted religious minorities of these countries, including muslims in CAA would have made the same irrational and arbitrary.

One more thing needs to be understood that CAA does not deny the right to apply for citizenship even to muslims of these three countries. Section 5 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for a disqualification for obtaining “Citizenship by Registration” that the person should not be an illegal immigrant. CAA merely relaxes this condition in favour of the specified 6 communities by deeming persons of these communities who entered into India prior to 31.12.14 by deeming them as not illegal immigrant.

This itself answers the singular issue raised by the protestors of including muslims in CAA. Further, we need to ask ourself an important question, as to whether we want to include all type of illegal immigrants in CAA, which would mean that India is offering citizenship to those who chose to have their separate nations at the time of partition, and who in their national capacity are our biggest enemies since partition. Prominent persons like Ex-LG of Delhi questioning the non-inclusion of muslims have a duty to inform these facts to the General Public so that their views help people take proper decision.

It is baffling that the people especially the youth of this country is being confused, whereas the most basic right of any sovereign is to decide as to whom it shall provide citizenship and no foreigner can claim the right to citizenship of the sovereign. To contend that Pakistani muslim illegal immigrants in India should be provided citizenship, to say the least,iswholly against national interest.

Coming to the economic front, the situation does seem out of control. The bureaucracy seems to be far from the ground and is unable to take cues from the practical suggestions provided by the trade, industry and professionals. Their biggest problem is that they are not even acknowledging that there exist problems. They are still in the mode of denial, and there is no one in Government to dictate to bureaucracy the need of the hour. On a deeper scrutiny of problems associated with laws like GST, Income Tax, Corporate Laws, IBC, etc. it can be said that its time to – go into details, andidentify and solve problems. This can be done by giving this task to professionals having hands on experience.

In these tough times for the trade and industry, the professionals would hold the key to help businesses navigate and sail through. Of course the times ahead are challenging and enriching!

Jai Hind

With Warm Regards

Puneet Agrawal

Convenor, Newsletter Group – BVSS

[1]https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-edit-page/in-2020-put-people-first-protesters-are-not-urban-naxals-government-needs-to-listen-to-them/

[2] See proviso added to S. 2(1)(b) of the Citizenship Act, 1955

[3]1961 AIR 552 SC

[4] Having their State religion as Islam

The BVSS- Newsletter, 2020 is attached here as BVSS Newsletter- January, 2020 Edition along with the e-publication as BVSS e-publication [GST update series Jan 20].

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