Historian Ramachandra Guha yesterday (19 December) took to the streets to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by calling it a violation of India’s democratic principles.
During the protest, Guha held high Ambedkar’s poster which read, “CAA against constitution”, in one hand while frantically opposing the act which he described as totally discriminatory and anti-constitutional. In the same breath he also alleged that the bill threatens Hindu-Muslim plurality.
Despite being a prominent historian, the irony of using Ambedkar to peddle these arguments under the anti-CAA agenda, was lost on Guha.
One of the predominant criticisms of the act by so-called intellectuals has been what they call an exclusion of Muslims from the act - despite them not being “persecuted minorities” in neighbouring Islamic countries.
Their key demand gives birth to a scenario of Muslim immigrants from countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and even Myanmar getting Indian citizenship - thus “furthering” the so-called Hindu-Muslim plurality which Guha advocates.
It should be noted that B R Ambedkar though was vehemently opposed to such a scenario and had advocated a full exchange of population at the time of partition by arguing that Islam would never allow a true Muslim to consider either India as his motherland or a Hindu as his kith or kin.
As quoted here Ambedkar had famously written, “To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin. That is probably the reason why Maulana Mahomed Ali, a great Indian but a true Muslim, preferred to be buried in Jerusalem rather than in India.”
As amply clear from the above text, while Guha passionately advocated for “Hindu-Muslim plurality”, Ambedkar had negated the possibility of that ever happening.
Various twitter users then proceeded to point out this irony:
Incidentally, the irony is also lost on the Bhim Army Chandrashekhar Azad who had led a similar protest in front of Jama Masjid while holding an Ambedkar poster.
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