A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and NRC in Mumbai on Friday. Image Credit: ANI

The CAA and the NRC and only creating chaos

By Safi H. Jannaty

As the writer has stressed, the women of Shaheen Bagh have made the monk and his ilk restless and wary. The young and old women who have been relentless in their determination and resolve have been catalysts in different towns and cities, but also in inspiring students and others to fight for their rights.

The party in quest for the throne of Delhi has fallen to levels never seen earlier in Indian democracy and is unabated in its use of slurs against minorities. Provocations and hate speeches by leaders and candidates contesting elections make one wonder if it is this democracy that the founding fathers of the nation had dreamt of.

Unfortunately, despite laws and rulings by the Supreme Court of India, rulings banning use of communal hatred and religious issues during election campaign, Adityanath has gone scot-free and the election commission had just imposed a 48-hour ban on campaigning, which made him repeat that he stood by what he had stated.

The founders of the Indian constitution who spent more than two years in deliberating each and every article thereof in as detail as possible had never imagined that a day would come when the ruling party would fight elections not on its economic agenda or economic achievements, but purely on communal lines.

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West Bengal, Jan 16 (ANI): Muslim women during a protest rally against CAA and NRC, in Kolkata on Thursday. (ANI Photo)

Attempts to curtail the fundamental rights of citizens to assemble peacefully and hold public meetings and rallies, is deplorable. Despite decisions by Supreme Court of India against the misuse of Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, people have not only been disallowed to assemble, but are also being wrongfully detained.

Many supporters of the CAA including internationally known spiritual leader, Jaggi Vasudev Sadhguru believe that people are being misled by the opposition and the Act is geared to rectify the situation that was created during the tragic partition and creation of Pakistan. One does not need any expertise or deep insight of politics to understand the true intent of the party in kindling the agitation and keeping the fire fueled.

- The reader is a writer based in Saudi Arabia.

Citizenship Amentment Act is anti-India?

Is the CAA anti-India?

By M. Mumtaz Hussain

This is the second tenure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, and from the beginning of their rule, the party has been playing dirty politics by creating sensitive issues such as the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the Ram Mandir and border conflicts. Instead of wasting time on these frivolous issues, there was a great need to reduce poverty, improve the economic situation of the country, control unemployment, curb prevailing suicide ratio among the youth and maintaining good relationships with neighbouring countries.

The CAA is an attempt to give a constitutional base to the idea of having a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. The National Registrar for Citizens (NRC) are its teeth and claws. Muslims have fears that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to change India into a Hindu nation and as such, everybody is asking why citizenship should be on the basis of religion.

I think, the CAA is a direct assault on India’s secular character and the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that his government will not let the legislation be implemented in his state.

The combination of having the CAA and NRC is a disastrous agenda to link citisenship to religion in India. It violates the very fabric of our multi religious, diverse and secular country; it violates articles 14 and 15 of the Indian Constitution and it violates the principle upon which modern India was formed. In 1947 we made a decision that we would not become a country where citizenship would be based on religion, so, introducing the CAA and NRC agenda is being done to basically try and give The Hindu Rashtra a constitutional base. It’s discriminatory and violates the Indian constitution. It is anti-Indian and it destroys the soul of the idea of India. It is a matter to note that India is not facing any pressing refugee crisis currently from Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan.

- The reader is a Dubai-based office manager.

 Dubai is making way for women in key jobs

By Alisha Roy

Being descendants of a male dominated workplace, the idea of women selling tea and filling your petrol tanks is no longer unnatural. We can all agree to call 2019 a she-year. It was the year when feminism dovetailed with almost everything. As nations let sisterhood became their energy, 2019 saw people ripping up macho templates in business, cinema and politics.

Act surprised when female construction workers start making your high rises here. Even more so when pizza delivery women will zip past you. It might sound impossible, but believe it or not, this notion has mushroomed in my neighbourhood.

One day, at a tea and shawerma eatery in my area, a woman in a cafeteria uniform walked towards my car while balancing several cups of tea on a plastic tray. I looked at other cars and there were more women serving tea.

After I congratulated her, I thought about other missing women from such small enterprises in Dubai. I am hopeful that besides cafeterias, a woman workforce will emerge at bigger industries. From groceries and bakeries to services like bus drivers, electricians and carpenters - jobs which went away to immigrant men will someday find its way to women.

Yes, there are women in service who clean our homes every day. Women who work at salons, and look after our children. Expat women dominate the nanny market in Dubai. It’s hard to imagine a male nanny looking after our children here, but having said that, there are still a few male nannies here too. There are so many reasons why these women don’t venture beyond their stereotyped paths.

Yet, 2019 became a year about women, because it supported the question of ‘why not?’. For example, why can’t women do masonry? Why can’t male nannies help stay-at-home dads? Changes began in 2019 when people did something rare in the smallest of places. And, an example of this was the woman I saw in the cafeteria, and the person who gave her the job.

In 2019, women challenged stereotypes and set trends. I am glad that in 2020, Dubai is reaching out to women who otherwise were confined to domestic roles. Especially for jobs that offer the tiniest of hope of better dreams. Thank you, Dubai, for doing your bit.

- The reader is a resident of Dubai.