The Caste Reality

Protests have broken out across India, most of them violent, against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019.

By Dr. Udit Raj | February 2020

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) was promulgated with the intention to subvert the secular fabric of the Indian Constitution. There was a misnomer that one of the Indian states, Assam, has been highly infiltrated from bordering countries, particularly, from Bangladesh. To get them out or to identify illegal migrants, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was prepared. Its outcome went against the RSS/BJP and frustrated them. More than 19 lakh people in Assam were excluded from the NRC out of a total 3.29 crore who had applied for it. Out of the 19 lakh, less than 5 lakh were Muslims while the Hindu population was about 13 lakh. This punctured the whole propaganda that millions of Bengali Muslims were living in Assam.

The ruling party had no other choice except to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant a swifter path to Indian citizenship under the assumption of religious persecution to any individual belonging to the specific minorities of Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis. The justification to exclude Muslims was that they have many other Muslim nations to settle in. This argument is bogus and unacceptable. There are many Buddhist and Christian nations also and hence they could have also been excluded like the Muslims. Article 14 of the Indian Constitution says that no person can be denied equality before the law or the equal protection of laws within the territory of India. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution says that a citizen cannot be discriminated against on the basis of religion, race, caste or place of birth. Thus, this is a clear departure from the secular structure of the Indian Constitution.

The RSS/BJP did not approve of the Indian Constitution from the very beginning. Three days after the Constituent Assembly passed the Constitution, the RSS’s English organ, Organizer, on November 30, 1949, rejected the Constitution and demanded Manusmriti as the Constitution. Manusmriti, translated as "The Laws of Manu" or "The Institutions of Manu," is the most important and authoritative Hindu Law Book (Dharmashastra), which served as a foundational work on Hindu law and jurisprudence in ancient India for at least 1500 years. Until the modern times, it was the standard reference for adjudicating civil and criminal cases by both the rulers who patronized the Vedic faith and the people who practiced Hinduism. Of the many law books of Hinduism, Manusmriti is certainly the most popular and authoritative work.

M.S. Golvarkar says that the present Indian Constitution is nothing but a compendium of various constitutional provisions of western countries and there is no Indianness in it. He further says that there is not a single word of reference in its guiding principles as to what our national mission is and what our keynote in life is. While delivering a speech at Resham Bagh, the RSS Headquarter at Nagpur, Golvarkar said, “RSS inspired by one flag, one leader and one ideology is lighting the flame of Hindutva in each and every corner of this great land.”

Now there should not be any doubt left that why the CAA has been brought. They waited for a long long time to replace the current Indian Constitution by the Manusmriti. According to the Manusmriti, except Brahmins and Kshatriyas, all others are born to serve them. Women, regardless of any caste, must be treated like slaves and should not have any material and political power. At all times, they must be controlled by men. Till she grows up, a woman will be under the control of her father, after marriage, her husband will take charge and, in old age, it is a son who will control her.

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The writer is a former member of the Indian Parliament and National Spokesperson of the AICC. (The All India Congress Committee - AICC - is the Presidium or the central decision-making assembly of the Indian National Congress).

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