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  Opinion   Oped  29 Dec 2019  All quiet on the minority front

All quiet on the minority front

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Dec 29, 2019, 12:34 am IST
Updated : Dec 29, 2019, 12:34 am IST

The Congress protest over the CAA-NRC turned out to be an exercise in demonstrating power equations within the party.

The ongoing curbs on Internet in the wake of the CAA-NRC protests are bothering a section of the Union government.
 The ongoing curbs on Internet in the wake of the CAA-NRC protests are bothering a section of the Union government.

What’s to hide on CAA-NRC?
The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is facing a crisis of sorts over the raging debate on the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register for Citizens (NRC). When the controversy erupted, the NCM was keen to set up a “Help desk” but within 48 hours, it was deactivated. Apparently, the political masters were not happy about it and made this clear to NCM chairman Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi. The NCM website still has a “FAQ related to CAA and NRC” help desk link, but it has become dysfunctional. “Upar se aadesh hai” or a technical snag is a reply one gets about why Help Desk is not working.

Manoj’s pitch to Sikhs
After the Jharkhand drubbing the BJP is worried about Delhi where the Assembly poll is due in February 2020. The top BJP leadership is not confident of actor Manoj Tiwari’s ability to beat Arvind Kejriwal. There is a buzz that Parvesh Sahib Singh, young BJP MP from West Delhi, may be projected. But Tiwari has not given up. The Delhi BJP chief has shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him abolish Jawaharlal Nehru’s November 14 birthday as ‘Children’s Day’ and instead mark the day as ‘Martyrs Day’ in memory of Sahibzade Jorawar Singh and Sahibzade Fateh Singh, the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh. Tiwari argues in his letter that on November 14, 1705, the tenth Guru’s sons sacrificed their lives in Punjab's Sirhind to protect dharma. Tiwari supporters think the move has the twin benefits of attracting the sizeable Sikh vote in the national capital and of helping the PM demolish Nehru in the public memory.

 

Sonia’s Rahul fixation
The Congress protest over the CAA-NRC turned out to be an exercise in demonstrating power equations within the party. All eyes were on Rahul Gandhi. Discerning Congress leaders were quick to observe how the AICC interim chief, Sonia Gandhi, sat and signalled to Rahul to supervise. Her predecessor and likely successor rose on four occasions directing the speakers to read the Indian Constitution preamble, asking young leaders to speak, draping a shawl over Sonia to protect her from chilly winds and asking party leaders to sing the national anthem aloud when the programme concluded. A senior party leader quipped later saying that in Sonia’s scheme of things, there are three candidates for AICC chief’s post — Rahul Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

 

Whose Home is it anyway?
The Home portfolio in Maharashtra is giving a headache to the alliance partners in the state government. At present the Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde is manning the home ministry but the NCP’s Ajit Pawar is staking a claim. From the Congress, both Ashok and Prithviraj Chavan are eyeing the portfolio. However, Chief Minister Udhav Thackeray is reportedly keen that Home should stay with the Sena.

Gun control in Lok Sabha
Recent amendments to the Arms Act are posing problems to some. In order to regulate firearms, the new law reduces the number of permitted firearms from three to one.  Former Union minister and Olympian Rajyavardhan Rathore wants the law relaxed for those with licensed guns and doubling the quota of weapons for sportspersons. Apparently, Rathore has three licensed firearms. When the Lok Sabha was debating Arms Act, S. Jagathrakshakan of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) was greeted with thumping of desks for saying that majority of crimes relating to firearms have been committed by those who do not possess a licence.

 

Digital India’s security dilemma
The ongoing curbs on Internet in the wake of the CAA-NRC protests are bothering a section of the Union government. Senior ministers and bureaucrats are worried that suspending Internet services in over 30 cities has a potential of damaging country's image abroad and derailing the digital India campaign. But the Union home ministry is vetoing criticism on the grounds of national security concerns.

The writer is a keen observer of the goings-on in backrooms of power

Tags: national register for citizens