The Drum program on CAA did not do a balanced or factual coverage

Sydney, 4 March, 2020

My critique:

There was so much misinformation and falsehood in the video. It’s a lie to say Modi Govt is trying to make India a Hindu nation. India is a secular nation and will remain so. India is not enacting any law, which specifically favors or discriminate any religious group. It’s not true that BJP is a Hindu party. It treats all Indians equally and, unlike other political parties, BJP doesn’t practise favoritism to any religious group. It has people from all religions groups as its members. BJP has Muslim ministers and Governors and Dr APJ Kalam was made India’s president during its earlier rule.

The map of India shown in the video is factually incorrect as Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India ever since the ruler of that kingdom signed the Instrument of Accession in 1947 to merge it with India, and should have been shown so.

Claiming that Muslims are trying to migrate to Pakistan is fake, false and alarmist. Some panelists obviously had no clue about facts. Journalism should be about facts, not peddling of biased views and fake news.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) doesn’t affect any Indian citizen. It provides citizenships to refugees from minority religions from Islamic nations of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who were a) religiously persecuted and b) already in India by 31 Dec 2014. Muslims are not likely to be religiously persecuted in an Islamic nation. There is nothing wrong in CAA. It is a noble act, as it helps persecuted minorities. We should have sympathy for them as they risk their lives and kidnapping of their daughters in those countries on a daily basis.

National People’s Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC), which doesn’t exist in India (except in Assam state under the direction of Supreme Court of India) at present, are needed for the governance, just like Australia has a register of its residents and citizens. India must know who is its genuine citizen and who is an illegal alien. A birth certificate is not the only criterion for the citizenship. There are so many other parameters, which determine citizenship. People can obtain a passport even without a birth certificate. Peddling an alarmist and false narrative against India is despicable.

When the global economy as a whole is in trouble, it’s irrational and unfair to expect sterling performance from Indian economy.

India is a democracy and Indians gave Modi a landslide victory only 10 months ago. Blinded by their misplaced love for Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, under whose reign, corruption was at its peak, some people are unable to accept the verdict of Indians and have intolerance towards Modi.
Every law in India is for all Indians and is passed by the parliament, which is supreme and superior to the twisted views of the biased and Modi-hating so-called “journalists” and “intelligentsia”.

Judiciary in India is independent and laws are regularly challenged in the courts.

Opposition to either of CAA, NPR or NRC (when it comes) is furphy, irrational and agenda-driven nonsense.

The Drum producers should select panelists, based on merits and after a thorough research, to present a balanced and factual program. Bashing Modi and India shouldn’t be the only criterion for an invitation to be a panelist.

Dr Yadu Singh

CAA is a good law

Sydney, 12 December 2020

Indian community in Sydney organized a gathering (rally) on Sunday, 12 January 2020 in support of Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019. More than 200 people attended the gathering.


What’s CAA and why it’s a good law?

CAA is a noble move by India because it helps religiously persecuted people from minority religions in Pakistan, Bangladesh & Afghanistan. At the time of partition of India, minorities were reassured by Pakistan’s founder and leaders that they would have equality and not face persecution or discrimination, stating that religion is a private matter, with no involvement or interference from the State in religious matters. Unfortunately, this has not turned out to be true. Based on copious media reports, religious persecution of minorities is rampant in these nations and the numbers of minorities have decreased drastically as of now compared to 1947. In contrast, population of minorities in India has increased significantly since 1947. Some of these religiously persecuted people have fled to India as refugees and have been living there in limbo. By offering them citizenship, India has given them a right to live with dignity. They don’t have to face despicable and constant threats of physical violence, forced conversion, abduction of their minor daughters and their forced marriages to abductors. The argument of some, asking for the inclusion of the predominant religion of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in CAA is not sensible or logical as it’s unlikely for the people from the predominant religion to suffer persecution on religious basis in those nations. Quoting article 14 of the Constitution is not valid because Indian Constitution does permit affirmative action, as is evidenced by reservation in jobs etc for SC/STs communities and special provisions in Harijan Act, which would ordinarily be violative of equality concept under article 14. While Govt of India has taken a laudable and noble step, I am dismayed with blatant politics and misinformation, orchestrated by opposition political parties and some religious leaders, leading to violent protests, destruction of public & private properties and loss of lives in some cities of India, when it’s clear that CAA doesn’t affect any Indian citizen and it doesn’t take away citizenship of any current Indian citizen. I am disappointed that the opposition, particularly the Congress party, is playing a sinister and dangerous game in opposing CAA when its former leader, Dr Manmohan Singh himself demanded CAA type law to help Pakistan and Bangladesh’s persecuted minorities in Rajya Sabha during the rule under Mr AB Bajpayee and when the steps for record keeping of Indian citizens (Aadhar, NPR & NRC) was proposed and partially implemented by the Congress party-led Govt.

CAA doesn’t cover political and sectarian discrimination but people from other categories can still apply for Indian citizenship under different provisions of the relevant law. Adnan Sami (singer from Pakistan) getting Indian citizenship is a good example in this regard.

Protests, especially rioting and violence, are irrational, unjustified and politically motivated. I agree with the recovery notices issued against the rioters to recover the loss of property.

In regards to NPR/NRC, these are instruments which India, like any other nation, must have to know about its citizens and people living within its territory, and for effective governance. Opposition to NPR/NRC is short-sighted and is a mechanism employed by the opposition to keep and use illegal migrants as their vote banks. Sane, sensible, intelligent and “silent” majority of Indians must tell the opposition parties to support India’s interests and not blindly oppose good policies from the Govt. Indians, irrespective of their religions, and Indian political parties must behave with maturity. The same is required from Indian media, which should inform the public with facts, instead of being part of fake news. It’s known that the most of the international media are left-leaning and generally keep their eyes shut in regards to the plight of minorities of these countries. This is morally reprehensible and must be called out. Propaganda against India will need to be countered, using social media. Helping persecuted people is a good and morally correct action. It will enhance the image of India, if misinformation is countered with facts. CAA will throw spotlight on undeniable religious persecution and the sad plight of minorities in India’s neighborhood. What Indian govt and it’s diplomats as well as India-loving people must do is to effectively counter the propaganda, misinformation and fake narratives by anti-India forces and left-leaning media within India and overseas. The true picture of the plight of minorities in India’s neighborhoodneeds to be seen by the world.

Dr Yadu Singh