“Vasudeva Kutumba” is a Sanskrit phrase that usually translates as “all the world is a single-family.” That’s what we Indians follow and implement in our life. We love Ahinsa or non-violence, even though most of us follow different customs, traditions, religions, and languages. Despite having so many differences among us, we stand together in times of need, whether with friends or complete strangers. With an open heart, we welcome guests and with lots of happiness, we celebrate our own festivals and other festivals too with a boom, bang, dancing, singing and much more.
Everything was going well and fine. Many people had already started planning out their holidays. Life was going smoothly. It was on Dec. 12, 2019 that a bill passed in the parliament of India. Most of us had no problem with the bill except the leaders of opposition parties. That’s not a piece of news. It always happens in any democratic country. The bill that was passed in the parliament is actually an Amendment of an already-existing Bill known as the Citizenship Bill.
The purpose of this bill is to give citizenship to the people who belong to minority communities and are not treated with equal rights and are discriminated against on the basis of religion in neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The bill provides an easy path to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians who sought refuge before 2015 from neighboring countries. Before the bill was even passed, people started protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) or Citizenship Amendment Bill in various parts of the country. For different reasons, the protests were held in various places. In Eastern parts of the country, specifically Assam, Tripura, and Arunachal Pradesh, people feared that by giving citizenship to anyone regardless of religious background it could change their demographic balance, which can lead to loss of their political, cultural and land rights. People were worried that many other refugees from Bangladesh will come to live here, which can violate the Assam Accord.
The protest was happening in other parts of the country, preferably due to completely different reasons. It was either a complete misunderstanding or just a rumor. We don’t know who spread the misunderstanding. This small baseless rumor caused so much havoc. The protestors were concerned that the Citizen Amendment Bill discriminates between Hindus and Muslims. They were worried that the new law will make them Stateless. It was just a baseless rumor, but that rumor like fire quickly spread in other states too. Soon, the protests became violent. The protestors started to destroy public property. They were burning vehicles, school buses and were throwing stones at the police- who were trying their best to calm the protestors down. Thousands of people were on the streets protesting against CAA and the NRC (National Register of Citizens), telling the government to take back the Bill.
It all started by peacefully marching against the bill that was going to pass in the parliament in some parts of the country. Soon, it was not so peaceful. The government, media, and police were trying their best to control the situation. They were telling the public and making protesters aware that the Bill is not for us. No one is going to be stateless. Please, folks, don’t believe in rumors. Police were trying every way to handle the situation. They had implemented Act 144 in the places where violent protests were happening or where there were any chances of violence.
Act 144 means no more than four people can form a group in any public place. In many places, for almost 36 hours, Internet services were closed to avoid the spreading of rumors through social media. In some places, mobile services were also closed. During the violent clashes, some police officers and citizens were injured and a few were killed. Police were arresting those who were spreading fake news and taking part in violent protests. At last, after all the hustle and bustle, the situation is now under control. Everything is back to normal and Internet services resumed again. People are still protesting, although more peacefully.
So, what do you think is the cause of all this violence? Who’s responsible for all the deaths and the injured people? Is it just rumors and misunderstanding that was causing all this trouble? Like a coin, this story has two sides- a head and tail. Everything can have both sides. So, why not look at the other sides? Don’t you think we should try to listen to the government, the police or the media who are constantly trying to tell us not to lend your ears to those who are trying to cause violence? There can be many reasons for these violent clashes. There can be different mindsets behind it.
Some think that the CAA will make our country poor and that it will increase the competition for jobs, shelter and much more. While some think it’s an attempt to separate Hindus and Muslims, we don’t know what the actual reason behind the violence is or if there are people who are trying to destroy our peace. There could be several reasons. The only thing we have to do is keep united, stay together and never believe rumors.
About Kesar: If you want to find Kesar, then the best place to search is the library, where she can be found reading books. She started writing after she was encouraged by her English teacher in middle school. Since then, she has been writing about various stuff to chase her dreams. She is now working as a content writer.