Even after knowing that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has nothing to with Indians and in no way intends to take away anybody’s citizenship, some state governments have chosen to oppose CAA, evidently for political purpose. The Communist-led state government in Kerala is one among them. Now it is feeling the heat for its deeds, perhaps in a manner it had not anticipated.
It is imperative for any anti-CAA party to rely on misinformation and spreading fear among certain sections. It may be not a hard task to fill negativity and fear, but somewhere down the line one has to reap what they chose to sow. That is the bottom line, which has become increasingly evident in the instance of Kerala.
Resistance to All Kinds of Surveys
The opposition including the Communist parties spread the misinformation and fearmongering among certain sections of society that the exercises like National Population Registrar (NPR) and National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) combined with CAA may prove detrimental to certain community.
The Indian Express has reported a negative outcome of this fearmongering in Kerala. According to this report, people are suspecting all kinds of surveys and in some cases officials who went for surveying were manhandled. The report says,
“Field investigators of the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), under the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, and those of the state Economic and Statistics Department are facing stiff resistance in many parts, especially Muslim-dominated areas, where people have linked regular surveys to the CAA, according to officials.”
Among other things, the process of recognising the real beneficiaries has also been hit by such behaviour. Previously too, we have explained how some pockets of Kerala are suffering from the fearmongering against Polio vaccination.
Extremists Gone Out of Hand?
Despite Kerala Governor Arif Mohmmad Khan’s assertion that CAA does not harm any communities, the ruling party in the state took to streets to mobilise people against the Union government on the issue of CAA.
Now, we see Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleging on the floor of the Assembly that these protests have taken an ugly violent turn because some vested interests have penetrated in the anti CAA demonstrations. He is blaming Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI). It is ironic, since in 2018 Vijayan had upon being asked about recommending a ban on PFI, categorically denied the consideration, and had instead argued that it was the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) that needed to be banned.
It seems that the state government in Kerala initially fuelled the anti-CAA protests by all means to corner the BJP-led government at the Centre. However, the move backfired badly, and since then Vijayan has been searching for face saving reasons.