Why is the Citizenship Amendment Bill bad for an inclusive India?

Let me set the premise for any discussions on this post. I am not a legal expert, not even a novice for that matter. So the views expressed here does not include the technicalities of the legal aspects of the issue. The post is from the point of view of an ordinary citizen of India, who believes in the ethos and legacy the idea of India has embedded on us. Also, the fact stated in this post are to the best of my understanding, and anything wrongly put shall be corrected if I am notified of it.

Representational image. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (https://images.app.goo.gl/dRqWpiHqgnYttAcZ8).

What is Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB)??

CAB, as I understand, is a provision through which certain peoples could be granted Indian citizenship. The criteria for these certain peoples are, they must be living in India at least since December 2014, they must have come from either Pakistan or Bangladesh or Afghanistan, and their religious identity must be either of a Hindu, a Jain, a Buddhist, a Christian, a Parsi etc1.

What are the inspirations for CAB?

The issue of immigrants has been a decade long issue in many parts of the country, particularly the north east India. In many states including Assam, BJP election manifesto promised an exercise named NRC (National Registry of Citizens)3, through which the immigrants would be identified and "thrown out". When finally NRC was carried out, a whooping 19 lakh people were excluded from the list, and incidentally a significant population was from the Hindu community2.

I believe, that this situation put BJP is a position of stalemate. If they do not carry out the promise, a re-election to power is impossible. But if they exclude a population with a significant Hindu community in it, it would affect their ties with RSS, the ideological mentor of BJP and would have nation-wide ramifications. This what I think has inspired the CAB which would allow BJP to "execute their promise" without affecting their vote banks.

I tend to dismiss the other stated motivations for CAB, like persecution of minorities in the respective countries. If religious persecution was the ground, the Shias, Sufis and Ahmadis of Pakistan could have been included, or at least the rohingyas of Myanmar should have been included.

‘9’ Movie Review: A Movie Definitely Worth a Watch

9 is a recently released Malayalam movie, starring Prithviraj. It has been anticipated for a long time as a sci-fi movie, which is rare in Indian movie industry, particularly in Malayalam. However, when the movie was finally released, most of the initial ratings were mixed, if not negative. I have never seen another Malayalam movie in which the opinion vary to this extend. However, when I finally watched the movie, I realized that it is indeed a gem. The problem was probably people’s expectations. 

The 9 Movie Release Poster

Let’s get straight to it, 9 IS NOTa sci-fi movie. So do not go and watch the movie expecting some crazy Hollywood style futuristic elements. Neither is the movie a full time horror, or a psychological thriller. Rather it has elements from all of it, and would definitely give a fantastic experience if you keep all these expectations out of your mind. 9 is a suspense thriller, and an end-to-end entertainer. At the same time, the movie expects a lot of “connecting-the-dots” from the viewer, and that’s what makes the movie special. It is not an accident, but an intentional well conceived idea that leaves all the necessary dots that allows the viewer to properly connect those.

Apart from the innovative thread, the movie also features marvellous landscapes and amazing visual effects, that blends perfectly well with a unique background score. In short, the movie is truely world class and a very unique in terms of the storyline, and stays in the minds of the viewers a lot longer than any other Indian movie does.

Hence my sincere request to all is not to fall prey to the negative reviews, and definitely watch the movie in theatres. The experience that you get with this movie in theatres can never be compared to that can be felt through a television. Also, try not to read more reviews on the movie, as the more you read online reviews, the less would be your experience from the movie. I urge not only Malayalis, but also my non-Malayalam-speaking friends to watch the movie, as this is a rare kind in the whole Indian film industry.

Spoiler Alert: DO NOT READ FURTHER if you haven’t watched the movie. Once you watch the movie, do come back to read more if you have questions unanswered.