Citizenship Act -- the lusty masterstroke that liberals can’t fathom
CAA will have immense benefits in terms of national integration. And it will help the economy and earn the government revenues. As a dyed-in-the-wool-development-man-cum-cultural-nationalist, let me explain to you how.
The liberals are at it again. Can you imagine: they are attacking the glorious idea of a nationwide National Register of Citizens.
Can something with “national” attached to its name be restricted to Assam, logically speaking? But how would a liberal anti-national know that?
I write this extremely insightful piece to tell fellow Indians and would-be citizens, post-NRC, that there are several benefits of a nationwide NRC.
It will have immense benefits in terms of national integration. And it will help the economy and earn the government revenues. As a dyed-in-the-wool-development-man-cum-cultural-nationalist, let me explain to you how.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, you see, promises to abate any action on non-Muslims who came as persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh up to 2014, even if they fail to provide evidence of their Indian citizenship.
In other words, if your documents are not in order and you are a non-Muslim, you can again become citizens if you declare that you were a post-1971 illegal immigrant from any of these countries.
All other people living in India – unless they are legal immigrants – will have to prove that they are Indian citizens from an unspecified cut-off date in the nationwide NRC. All. Be they Muslim or non-Muslim.
Now I flesh out the contours of this CAA masterstroke to lay bare its immense, magical, possibilities.
First, it is pregnant with the possibility of national integration. So, if a gentleman called Raghuvir Gupta -- whose landless family migrated from a Rajasthan village – living in Uttar Pradesh feels his papers may be invalidated, he has a way out, thanks to CAA.
He has to enrol for Bangla coaching classes, apart from taking the mandatory trips to his village, where he owns no land, to procure documents. If the documents are not found in order by the babus, Mr Gupta can yet avoid being declared an illegal immigrant by declaring that he is one. He just has to pronounce his name as Raghubir-o Gupt-o and say that he came from Bangladesh in 1973 after facing religious discrimination. Bingo! He can now apply for Indian citizenship again.
This advice I offer you is something not even Chanakya would have thought of, Mr Gupta.
Now just imagine Mr Ramanathan from a village near Coimbatore who has similar, irrational, fears of being left out. He can just enrol for Punjabi classes, change his name to Ram Nath via affidavit, and say that he was from a village 66 miles west of Lahore. He was persecuted, snuck into India in the dead of night in Rajasthan in what was an act of Kshatriya valour, shifted to Coimbatore, learned Tamil and named himself Ramanathan.
The Punjabi, Bengali and Sindhi languages would spread throughout India as a result of the CAA, leading to a cross-linguistic “felt community” of Indians. This is what I call a truly magical masterstroke.
That apart, as I am also a development man, let me remind you that learning the Punjabi, Bengali and Sindhi languages will require teachers in these languages, millions of books, notebooks, pens, pencils and erasers. This will create demand in the economy.
And since sifting through the documents of 130-crore people is a long process, Mr Raghubir-o Gupt-o or Mr Ramanathan (now Ram Nath) can themselves offer Bengali and Punjabi lessons to others once they learn the languages. Each such learner thus becomes a teacher too. He receives fees for the tuitions and thus earns as he learns. Think of the generation of millions of jobs. And we become a five-trillion economy within no time and reverse the downturn in one lusty masterstroke.
Rather, the masterstroke of masterstrokes.
And if you say I am Islamophobic, let me dismiss your liberal charge with thundering cultural contempt.
Who stops a Muslim from converting to any of the non-Muslim religions mentioned in the CAA? And this is a constitutional argument, as this conversion will be as per Article 25 of the Indian constitution as a completely voluntary one.
And the act of conversion, I am sure, will ensure some earnings for religious men of these non-Muslim faiths and also lead to increased sale of religious texts of these communities. This will help the printing industry, which will be at the forefront of the national economic revival. It will have to employ more hands and procure equipment to meet the increased demand.
Let me now discuss the core economic benefits.
One-sixth of the world’s working population will have to board trains and buses to go back to their native places to collect their documents. Imagine what a footfall for the Indian Railways! When workers in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru will head back home to Bihar or Odisha more often than they are supposed to, will the Railways not magically register profits? Will those who sell tea on trains not be able to sell more? Will there not be increased purchase of tea, cooking oil and salt for preparing tea and samosas that will be increasingly consumed?
Will these workers not board buses from the Railway Station to go to their villages? Imagine the revenues state transport corporations will earn.
Now if you tell me that work will suffer in Mumbai or Bengaluru because of these workers’ absence, think again. Will factory/company managements not hire local, sons-of-the-soil, labour to replace these migrants if they find the procurement of documents a long-winding process? Think of the justice this will bring to the sons of the soil in its wake?
And you liberals forgot another thing, didn’t you? If the queues in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP, Bengal and Chhattisgarh villages for document procurement are too long, will not tea shops appear there overnight? Money will change hands and the economy will walk out of the mess with ease.
If the above arguments – I am myself bowled over by my peerless insight – don’t convince you, you are either a liberal or an anti-national. In fact, if you are one you are the other.
So, either get convinced by what I have said or catch the next train to Pakistan. For, as a liberal, you deserve to be a persecuted minority for which Pakistan should bring about a CAA of its own.