Why are the Opposition parties happy about the Supreme Court verdict over Kashmir? Has the court ordered the release of all the arrested leaders? Has it made internet service available for each and every citizen in all districts of Kashmir? Has it lifted the ban on the protests, processions and gatherings of thousands of people? Has it asked the Central government to implement any such order which could be hailed by the Kashmiris? I think the Supreme Court has not said anything like this. In other words, the petitions filed in the Supreme Court to get Kashmiris’ life easier could not achieve anything concrete.
Yes, there is no doubt about it that the court has indirectly criticized the government and cautioned it. The court has said that the act of imposing Section 144 and disallowing the internet is a violation of the basic rights of citizens. The freedom of expression is violated. The government should reconsider its decisions. In other words, the court has taught the government a lesson without putting it in the dock. Now, it is up to the government to decide what to do. There are rumors about the government’s wish to opt for a compromise with the Abdullahs before removing all the restrictions.
The court has silenced both the people of Kashmir and the government with this decision. Neither has it given a verdict in favor of anyone, nor against them. It has shown its smartness with maturity.
The Citizenship Amendment Act is almost as much a mistake as the Modi government had made with the decision of demonetization. The spirit behind doing both of these works was very good but their side effects have been frightening. All black money became white due to demonetization. Hundreds of people lost their lives and Rs 30,000 were also spent for the new currency. Yet, demonetization did not do much harm to the BJP government, as people got convinced that it was done for the good of the country, but the Citizenship Amendment Act could kill the roots of the Modi government and the BJP.
Hope this law does not boomerang on the BJP. The basic purpose of this law is very good: refugees from neighboring Muslim countries should be given citizenship of India, but its basis is only religious persecution which is does not match the mood of India.
Why the oppressed should only be from three neighboring Muslim countries? India should keep its gates open for the people coming from any neighboring country. Every person should be made a citizen of India only after examining the merits and demerits.
Citizenship should not be granted in bulk nor should be denied in bulk. Adherence to this principle is true Hindutva.
But this Amendment law has grossly violated this principle. That is why more Hindu youth than Muslims are opposing it. This law has also united the opponents of the country. Further, a good friend like Bangladesh has postponed four ministers’ visits to India in the last few weeks. Many friendly nations have described this law as unfair. There was so much opposition to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kolkata that he had to leave the car inside the city and travel by helicopter.
Many state governments (under the Opposition) have announced not to implement this law. Due to this clumsy law, even the good work like the National Citizenship Register can get in danger.
Indian role in Middle East is more important
The apprehension that a war between the US and Iran may have erupted after the killing of Iranian commander Qasim Sulemani remains only as an apprehension only. This is good news.
Iran claimed to have killed 80 US soldiers in an air raid on the US military bases in Iraq. US President Donald Trump, however, reacted calmly, dismissing any claims of casualties of American soldiers.
Now how would we know who is lying? Is it the Iranian leader Khamenei or Trump? In such a situation, the role of countries like India has become more important now; they can now mediate. The rise in gold and oil prices in this early period, however, is a matter of deep concern for India.
If the situation deteriorates, the Indian government will face the mammoth task of evacuating and rescuing Indians trapped in the Gulf. It is a matter of satisfaction that the Indian Foreign Minister is in constant touch with his counterparts of the countries concerned. India should also contact Israel.
As I expressed my apprehension earlier, there is apprehension of Iran targeting American and Israeli bases located in countries of Western and South Asia. In such a situation, India has to be very careful and active.