The wide-spread political agitation and violence that the country has seen in the last few days, after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) 2019 by both houses of Parliament and its approval by the President, took many ordinary citizens and even sophisticated analysts / commentators by surprise. While some protests were expected, the scale and intensity of the reaction were clearly not envisaged. The state security machinery, starting with the police forces, was caught unprepared. The BJP-NDA parties, too, appeared to be in a state of shock and disarray, as the protests increased in intensity.
The only socio-political elements that were not caught on the back foot were the very ones that were igniting the wildfires and disseminating the virus throughout the country – no apologies for mixing metaphors. The Congress and its motley allies had obviously been preparing for this conflagration most meticulously. The foot soldiers in this semi civil-war scenario were also pumped up and raring to be let loose at the appointed times and places. The religious sanctuaries that indoctrinated and trained the rabid mobs and inspired them were very much at the centre of the events.
It should be pointed out that this writer, in the good company of some fellow-commentators, has been studying and assessing the present existential threat to India for a fairly long time and is not at all surprised by the incendiary (literally, in many cases) unrest that the country has seen in the last few days and will possibly continue to witness for some more time.
Ever since the tsunami of 2014, when the genuine Indic forces captured the seat of power in New Delhi for possibly the first time in history, I have advocated that a vigilant watch must be kept on forces that are basically inimical to our ancient society and civilisation. When the 2019 elections confirmed the pole position of the Indic forces in Raisina Hill, I ventured to point out that there was no room for complacency and the sentinels must continue to maintain their guard[i], [ii], [iii].
Before we go further, it will be apposite if we spend some time on understanding the basic facts of the CAB, which has now become the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). The salient features of the CAA are so clear and transparent that readers should reflect deeply about the total deception and dishonesty of the agent provocateurs who have tried to set the country on fire. The sad truth is that they have actually managed to pull the wool over the eyes of many Indian citizens, who have not had either the time, patience or even the interest to get a grasp of the subject.
As far as the mainstream English media in India is concerned, their stand has been based on a deliberate misinterpretation of the statute. The same is true of many journals, newspapers and electronic media in the West. The roll call of dishonour in our country includes the usual suspects, ranging from The Hindu, The Times of India, The Indian Express, The Telegraph and their sister publications in Indian languages. The Western bandicoots comprise The New York Times, The Economist, and (you guessed it), the ever-execrable BBC.
I would, at this stage, like to briefly summarise the key and salient features of the CAA, although I feel that many readers are already familiar with what I will be spelling out:
(1) It is a legislation that is specifically meant for religiously-persecuted minorities in our three neighbouring countries, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The specific wording of the law on this point is as follows : “Any person belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan and who has entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and is staying here to safeguard their lives, shall not be treated as an illegal migrant.”
Yes, Muslims are not covered by this provision, simply because Muslims in these three countries are not subjected to religious persecution. One doesn’t have to be a quantum physicist to understand this point. Putting this in another perspective, those who demand that Muslims should be brought under the purview of this law are clearly deranged or perverse or both. The fact that some high-decibel opponents of CAA are now being over-smart on this point and asking for Shias and Ahmediyas to be bestowed the label of “persecuted” is clear proof that the entire opposition to the CAA is ersatz and manipulated.
Furthermore, Muslims from the three neighbouring countries, who face some other form of persecution / bias, can always seek entry into India under other existing laws on this subject. If eligible for entry to India, they can subsequently apply for citizenship under the naturalisation provision in Section 6 of the Citizenship Act.
(2) The mullahs in the mosques and the secularists in their pulpits (ranging from the watering holes of the India International Centre to other war fronts like JNU, Jamia Milia et al) are frothing that the CAA is against Indian Muslims. Surely, this should rank as one of the most grotesque pieces of distortion that one can possibly think of. Indian Muslims are already citizens of this country, having been born here, and there is no question whatsoever of their being asked to go through a citizenship acquisition process because of the CAA.
(3) Another point that is being harrumphed by the Muslim spokespersons, the mullahs in the mosques and the secularist-stormtroopers (SS) is that Shias, Ahmediyas, Hazaras, Balochis and Rohingyas should also have been included in the CAA, if the intention is to provide succour to victims of religious persecution.
It must be categorically pointed out to the disinformation brigade that all these groups are Muslim ethnic groups. They do not fall under the category of separate religions anywhere in the world. Since they are Muslim, they obviously do not qualify as minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, which are Islamic countries by law. Therefore, it is not possible to include these Muslim groups in the CAA, since it is specifically structured for religious minorities in those countries.
(4) The false-flag argument on the Balochis and Rohingyas is even more glaring and, therefore, simple to repudiate. The Baloch people do not want to immigrate to India but are fighting for an independent Balochistan. The Rohingyas are in a class of their own. They have a dismal record of targeting other minority groups (including Hindus) who stay in the Rakhine region of Myanmar. Their terror record is long and well – documented. Therefore, to include the Rohingyas, who pose a clear security threat to the country, under the CAA, would be a suicidal decision for the Government of India (GOI).
The CAA, as laws and statutes go, is a very clear and uncomplicated piece of legislation. It has little ambiguity and scope for multiple interpretation. Despite this simplicity and transparency, what we have seen in the last few days is a Machiavellian and insidious exercise of distortion and perfidy. The forces that did it and continue to do so are agents of instability and disorder as far as the Indian Republic and its venerable civilisation are concerned. What is being perpetrated is an attempted coup d’etat and nothing short of that. The speed with which the conflagration has spread to various parts of the country (and among various social groups) clearly point to this strategy.
This brings me to the core issue that needs to be understood by my readers and, if I say so, by the thinking segments in our country’s population. This is the role of disinformation and agitprop in bringing about socio-political instability and unrest in democracies by forces opposed to civic society and equality. I propose here to give detailed accounts of actual episodes in the recent past where democracies were systematically undermined and derailed by elites and oligarchies that were bitterly opposed to the legitimate governments of their countries.
The first episode I will deal with is the notorious “Zinoviev Letter” forgery used by the British Conservatives in the 1920s to destroy the electoral chances of the Labour Party for many decades. Despite repeated assertions by independent observers that the letter was a fabrication by the Tories, the British establishment maintained the fiction of a great Soviet conspiracy to plant the Red flag in Buckingham Palace. It took more than forty years for the truth to emerge incontrovertibly – the whole exercise had been planned and implemented by the British secret service and their henchmen in the Conservative party.
In this sordid episode, the parallels with the current Indian scenario are most interesting. In January 1924, the Labour Party formed a government in the U.K. for the first time, although it was a minority government, dependent on the support of the Tories and the Liberals. For a variety of reasons, the Labour government collapsed and a new election was scheduled for late October.
Just before the election, the rabidly reactionary rag-sheet, The Daily Mail published a letter purportedly written by a senior Soviet functionary, Grigory Zinoviev, to the Central Committee of the British Communist Party. It contained inflammatory passages that advocated armed revolt in Britain. The damning forgery put paid to the electoral prospects of the Labour Party and the Tories decisively won the elections in late October 1924.
Readers who are not fully au fait with this historical episode will find it very interesting to go through the following articles that give details about a disinformation campaign that changed the political scenario in an advanced European democracy. The parallels with what the destabilization forces are doing in India today will be glaring[iv], [v].
A much more tragic and poignant episode was the alleged Tukachevsky letter, a meticulously planned campaign by the German secret service in the 1930s to convince Stalin that the Soviet general staff was in collusion with the Nazis and plotting against Moscow. Now, Joseph Stalin, the role model and intellectual predecessor for Messrs. Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury et al, was a notoriously suspicious and distrusting megalomaniac who wanted to entrench his position in the Moscow power structure. When the respected Czechoslovak President Dr Benes forwarded to Stalin what he thought was evidence of treachery in the highest rungs of the Soviet Army, he unwittingly helped the latter to unleash the Great Purge. In one fell sweep, this decimated the armed forces of the USSR and handed Nazi Germany its greatest unarmed victory.
Thousands of senior Soviet officers, starting with Marshal Tukachevsky himself and key Generals and Colonels, were dragged to face hastily-assembled firing squads. Many died chanting the Internationale. When the blood-letting ended, it turned out that Stalin had exterminated more Marxists than the trio of Hitler, Himmler and Kaltenbrunner put together. The popular perception was that the whole thing was a plot by forces that wanted to weaken the Soviet Union and the letter was a forgery. However, the wily Georgian dictator’s propaganda machine drowned out the protests. It is only after the war that secret German archives clearly showed that the operation was planned and implemented by the Abwehr and the SD gang of Canaris and Heydrich, who duped Dr Benes to act as a conduit to Stalin.
Here too, the resemblances with events in our shores are uncanny. From dislodging an Army chief who was proving to be uncomfortably principled (and dismantling a highly-successful covert agency only because he had set it up) to hounding a military intelligence officer, all was par for the course for our desi maestros of destabilisation. The near-sabotage of the Rafale deal with highly-questionable techniques of fabricated data and facts reached a crescendo only a few months ago. The SS (secularist stormtroopers) brigade, the Lutyens Zone and Khan Market gangs, not to mention the masjid-church forces lost out on all the battles that they had initiated since mid-2013, when the battle for the 2014 elections started.
Let me sign off with my take on the anglicized, westernised, deracinated Indian elite that
comprises the Shashi Tharoors, the Ramchandra Guhas, the Abhishek Manu Singhvis
and the Kapil Sibals of the world. Their entire guerilla campaigns remind me of
their roots – the salad days they spent in Delhi’s St.
Stephen’s College, the pathetic little copy of Cambridge and Oxford that the
Anglican padres constructed in the arid dust of Delhi in the early years of the
20th Century. If ever there is a world competition in
pretentiousness, make-believe, ersatz posturing and chicanery, the inmates of
this institution (Stephanians, as they label themselves), will walk away with
most of the prizes. As the streets of Delhi and a number of other cities burn,
these saboteurs (no other word suffices) gorge on their kebabs and their prized
French Republic, too, had its version of enemies within the gates, when it
succumbed to Nazi Germany in 1940. The principal offenders were the members of
the Paris salon crowd that was never fully at home with Republican France even
151 years after the Revolution in 1789. One of the most notorious collaborators
of the Nazis and the Gestapo was Robert Brasillach, whose antipathy to
republican values outweighed his intellectual and literary skills. When he was
sentenced to death after the liberation of France, his sentence was sent to
Charles de Gaulle for confirmation, along with a petition by many writers and
scholars asking for clemency and the commutation of the sentence. The great de
Gaulle refused, on the grounds that “intellectual crimes” are as toxic and
heinous as military and political crimes.
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Jay Bhattacharjee is an advisor in corporate laws and finance, based in Delhi. His other areas of interest include socio-political issues and military history. He has been a commentator and columnist from the mid-1990s