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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 5398-5399  

India's new citizenship law defines who we are at the core

1 Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of CFAR (Cytogenetics Unit), KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Date of Submission15-Jul-2020
Date of Decision19-Aug-2020
Date of Acceptance21-Aug-2020
Date of Web Publication30-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Gupta
Department of Medicine, KG's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh - 226 003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1452_20

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How to cite this article:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Verma SK. India's new citizenship law defines who we are at the core. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:5398-9

How to cite this URL:
Gupta H, Nigam N, Verma SK. India's new citizenship law defines who we are at the core. J Family Med Prim Care [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 28];9:5398-9. Available from: https://www.jfmpc.com/text.asp?2020/9/10/5398/299349

Dear Editor,

Bhat et al. write a commentary in the Journal supporting a new Citizenship Amendment Act, count several reasons in its favor and condemn violence made by its critics.[1] While nobody can and should support violence for any cause in this land of Gautam Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi –the apostles of peace and nonviolence, respectively; we need to relook at the legislation on the basis of its merits too. While going through the rich history of this nation since eternity, we appreciate that we welcomed everybody at all the times. All the persecuted people across the globe found a home here and we always espoused them. Hence now if a new legislation segregates, differentiates, marginalizes, victimizes, or discriminates against one of us; this is the time to unite against those powers and ideas. This is the cause for which Mahatma Gandhi, BR Ambedkar, and several others fought for all their life.[2],[3]

Citing Shashi Tharoor, the authors correctly state that we were the Golden Bird- a treasure trove of industriousness and wealth in the Middle Age when the British Empire invaded, defeated, and then ruled us for close to two centuries. When they arrived on the shores, we had 27% shares in global trade and in 1947 when they left, which were reduced to 2%. In his Oxford Union speech five years ago, this former UN undersecretary & diplomat asserted a need for reparation from the UK for destroying industries of Murshidabad and Dhaka.[4] And that era followed the Mughal rule. Hence what history emerges is that during Mughal rulers, our businesses flourished, weavers manufactured one of the finest clothes in the world- which were in great demand in Europe and for initial one- and- a-half-century the East India Company did only business here.

Mughal rulers supported such trade through their policies so that demand for our finished products came from distant continents.[5] Hence when we demarcate a religion, we should closely re-examine our glorious past. Although there are exceptions on both the sides of Mughal versus British rulers where assessing their deeds can not simply be adjudged as black or white, we should remember that all the faiths –including Muslims- have been living here since ages and flourished, coexisted and embraced each other in an era when we were one of the most prosperous and the most luxurious communities in the world. Therefore now when some new law divides us on the basis of our faith, there is a need more than ever to recall that past and reunite.

Our British rulers knew well that it's not possible to rule over us if we collectively refuse to cooperate with and disobey them. They learned this hard lesson when saw Hindu and Muslim sepoys fighting together in sepoy-mutiny of 1857, which is in fact our first struggle of independence. Now long after that we'd prevail with togetherness over divisive forces again, tide over with shared values over our differences and feel brotherhood over separation to have a better future.

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  References Top

Bhat S, Parikh PM, Math SB. Misplaced outrage on India's new citizenship laws: Opinions of healthcare professionals. J Family Med Prim Care 2020;9:2188-91.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
Latson J. How Gandhi's time in jail helped his cause. Time 2014, Nov 6. Available from: https://time.com/3546296/gandhi-1913/.  Back to cited text no. 2
The reward of gentleness- The Black Act. Vol. 2. Satyagrah in Soth Africa. The selected works of Mahatma Gandhi. Available from: https://www.mkgandhi.org/satyagraha_safrica/11black_act.htm.  Back to cited text no. 3
Twitter post of Shashi Tharoor, Jul 15, 2015. Available from: https://twitter.com/ShashiTharoor/status/621132510777339905?s=20.  Back to cited text no. 4
Roy D. Why Shashi Tharoor's 'An Era of Darkness' should be translated into every Indian language. Scroll Jan 15, 2017. Available from: https://scroll.in/article/826728/why-shashi-tharoors-an-era-of-darkness-should-be-translated-into-every-indian-language.  Back to cited text no. 5


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