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Mainstream, VOL 62 No 11, March 16, 2024

Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, March 16, 2024

Friday 15 March 2024


Letter to the Readers, Mainstream, March 16, 2024

Four years after having passed the Citizenship Amendment Act the Home Ministry has now officially notified the CAA operational rules 2024 (on March 11, 2024). This contentious law has divided public opinion since it violates a fundamental constitutional principle of equality for all by overtly bringing in religion as a criteria to determine or deny citizenship to certain people. Protests have begun over the timing of this measure that was on hold for four years snd has been pulled out of the hat just before the General elections are declared. The timing of the decision to notify rules raises a reasonable questions as to whether this is an attempt to take public attention away from the electoral bonds controversy. The motive is clearly to divide public opinion and legitimise a discriminatory law. The other day a hardline Hindu nationalist politician, an MP from the ruling BJP let the cat out by saying that BJP’s aim of getting 400 seats in the coming parliamentary elections is to allow it to change the currently Secular constitution to that of a Hindu majoritarian state. As soon as the guy made this public statement the spokespersons and other functionaries of the BJP distanced themselves from Mr Anant Kumar. But all thinking people are aware now that the BJP and the RSS are moving swiftly towards their goal of theocratic state — a Hindu Rashtra. The huge nationally televised ceremony of the launch of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya with the Prime Minister leading the show like a priest had already come as a trailer to the future. And now the news has come that Doordarshan India’s publicly funded National TV network will have daily live broadcasts of the Aaarti Hindu Ritual from Ayodhya’s Ram Temple [1] Hindu Religious devotees who want this should pay a TV network for it. Granting official sanction for use of the taxpayers money pay for sight and sound of the morning mumbo jumbo from a Hindu Temple goes against secular norms. Such acts openly violate the constitutional principle of the separation of state and religion and they should be challenged in the Courts of law.

March 16, 2024 —HK

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