Jaggi Vasudev’s Video on CAA & NRC Unfairly Targets Protesters

Dear Jaggi Vasudev, please don’t mislead the country on CAA. Your 22-minute video misses out on key elements. 

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On 30th December 2019, PM Modi’s Twitter handle was used to share a video by godman Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, as part of a social media push #IndiaSupportsCAA or the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

But the fact is that Vasudev’s nearly 22 minute-long video is very misleading, to say the least. Here’s how:

The video talks initially about Partition, religious persecution practised by other countries. So, we feel compassion for Hindu minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh, and then Vasudev says he is amazed at the ‘hard-hearted’ reaction of the anti-CAA protestors.

But here’s the point Sadhguruji, those protesting against the CAA ate NOT against offering citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. They are asking why have persecuted Muslim minorities been left out.

But you have not answered that question in your video. The protestors are also asking why have certain other neighbours been left out and you have not even answered that question in the video.

Why did the Govt and now Vasudev also conveniently forget that Ahmadiyya Muslims and Shia Muslims are persecuted religious minorities in Pakistan. Why has it been forgotten that the Hazara Muslims are a persecuted religious minority in Afghanistan?

Why aren’t Myanmar and China being counted as neighbours? We share borders with both these countries. The Rohingya are persecuted in Myanmar, the Uighur Muslims are persecuted in China?

These are very valid questions that anti-CAA protestors have been raising, but neither the government, nor Vasudev have answered these questions. Why? The intention of the CAA is to keep Muslims out.

In fact, protestors have even questioned why CAA is looking only at religious persecution? Why not economic refugees, why should India not accept climate refugees? We must, as a responsible nation. But again, CAA is silent on that.

Because that would mean accepting Muslim refugees from Bangladesh who have crossed into India for years due to sheer poverty, chronic floods, and more recently, due to climate change. This is what anti-CAA protestors are questioning and Vasudev’s video has not addressed these KEY objections.

Vasudev also claims there has been an attempt to mislead minorities in India into thinking their citizenship is under threat. BUT Sadhguru… these fears are real. There is no attempt to mislead.

The fact is that CAA and NRC can specifically harm India’s Muslims when imposed together.

If a poor Muslim and a poor Hindu from Bengal have both lost their proof-of-birth documents in a flood, the Hindu can claim to be a persecuted refugee, the Muslim cannot. The Muslim would then be stripped of citizenship rights, especially voting rights, and be sent off to a detention centre.

All we have from the government, and from BJP spokespersons on TV channels, are “assurances” that this will not happen but there is nothing in the lawbooks to guarantee it.

Examining your video further, you say that people opposing the CAA realised the Act was fine and so changed their stance to ask why police were entering Universities.

Yes, anti-CAA protests are questioning police violence in universities, but ALL protestors continue to oppose the CAA as well.

In fact, the anti-Muslim objective of the CAA is underlined by the targeted police response – maximum police aggression has been seen in Muslim-dominated universities like Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University despite protests taking place in several other nations.

Vasudev’s video also conveniently ignores the violence against protesting public, especially in UP, where at least 20 people have been killed. There are verified videos of policemen in UP themselves damaging property, destroying CCTV cameras; policemen in UP are seen and heard telling Muslims to go back to Pakistan, but Vasudev ignores this.

Even a former UP Police Chief, Vikram Singh, has called out the force for what he describes as vindictive actions... but not Vasudev’s video.

Vasudev also questions those who argue that it will be difficult to produce ‘proof-of-birth’ documents. Aadhaar cards or ration cards cannot be used to prove citizenship. Only birth certificates are conclusive – if you were born before 1987. For everyone else, you need to prove the citizenship of at least one parent. Have India’s privileged few realised how difficult and demeaning this process will be for India’s poor, for India’s underprivileged, for India’s women, for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes? We have seen the hardships caused by the Assam NRC.

Finally, Vasudev concludes by claiming that the only problem here is the government’s failure to communicate properly about CAA and NRC.

Sorry, we disagree again because, in fact, in multiple statements, Home Minister Amit Shah has spelt out very clearly the exact nature of CAA. He has repeatedly promised that NRC will follow the CAA, in Parliament and outside it and it’s that clarity, that has brought people onto the streets... in protest. People of all ages, of all communities, many am sure who even revere you.

Yeh Jo India Hai Na.. it can sense that their future is at stake. Join those many youngsters on the street Guruji… am sure you’ll see the point they are making.

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