Amid all the protests and marches against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the government in power - BJP, seems to have started a small "myth-buster" series on their social media, to make Indian citizens "aware" of the facts.
In the most recent video, there are to women discussing the Act and NRC, claiming that Instagram influencers are only protesting to be "woke" and to seem "cool." Kudos on the millennial terms, boomers, but the video other than it's effort to appeal the youth, can barely get 1 star. Keeping in mind these videos are to debunk "misinformation," it's a shame to see the factlessness the two women in the video speak with.
So, to clear out the air and actually debunk some misinformation, we decided to fact check the two videos put out by BJP on their twitter.
Here's where you can watch the video - just so you know what we're talking about.
1. "No Indian Muslim will be affected by the CAA"
Fact: This is partly true. The CAA does not affect Indian Muslims, it simply grants citizenship to religious persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh - except Muslims. But it only refers to Muslim migrants. However, once the NRC is implemented through India, Indian Muslims will not have the CAA net to fall back on, if Indian Muslims do not produce enough documentation of their citizenship, they will also be excluded.
2. "The CAA only includes Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh because Gandhiji invited migrants from these places to call India home whenever required."
Fact: The Rohingyas of Myanmar, Ahmadiyyas of Pakistan, or the Hindu migrants of Srilanka are all excluded from the act, all of whom are persecuted religious minorities, with no particular logic. The Union government has openly said that the Rohingyas are a threat to national security, and have also mentioned that Islamic migrants have several other Islamic states to take shelter in. However, persecution on the basis of gender, sexual orientation and other such grounds is still a deep threat to these Muslims in other Islamic states. Which means, these Muslim immigrants, if they do take shelter in other Islamic countries still fear persecution. The exclusion of other countries or states has been made with no valid explanation.
3. "NRC doesn't leave out Muslims, it is non - religious. Showing documents such as Aadhar card, voter ID's etc will be enough to prove citizenship."
Fact: Partly true. The NRC is a non-religious exercise, but when combined with the CAA even Indian Muslims may fear exclusion. As far as the documents are concerned, the Home Minister himself in an interview stated that the Aadhar card does not prove citizenship for anyone when asked further about what documentation will be required, the Home Minister said that nothing was sure yet. But we can be sure that Aadhar card does not act as a valid document, in fact even in the official government document explaining the Aadhar card it is written that it does not prove citizenship.
4. "Everyone has documents, even the poor now have Aadhar and other such documents"
Fact: It has been reported that around 16 crore citizens are yet to enrol themselves for the Aadhaar card and around nine crores have been excluded for reasons unknown and unexplained, according to a survey. So ironically, the woman questioning whether the poor will be thrown out because they can't produce ID's may in fact be true. And as far as the witness provision goes, there have been no guidelines to understand how it works or what is accounted for as legal witness documentation - it all depends on the government. The same goes for undocumented people of the country regardless of their religion, except that the CAA, in this case, will be able to help those who are not Muslims and guarantee them a safety net.
5. "The protests are just Congress and it's vote banks propaganda because they can't defeat Modi, and they hate him."
Fact: I think we should let you guess on this one. But we're sure police brutality, doctored photos, mass tweets and BJP men in skull caps creating violence will give you some idea of what's happening.
The second video is largely based on just assumptions, it particularly targets Instagram influencers, accusing them of opposing the act to appear “cool and woke” without having adequate knowledge of it. So there isn't much of a fact check we can rely on.
“Three to four types of people are opposing this. Insta celebrities are first among such people because they want to look cool and they also want something to discuss in their drawing rooms at a new year party,” one of the women says.
The conversation then shifts to “Urban Naxals”, a term the BJP uses to target dissenters and one that even Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned in his Ramlila Maidan speech.“Just look at the urban Naxals and take a look at their entire history,” one of the women says. “It is their job to spread chaos and anarchy and indulge in violence. And when scared people stop believing in the system then they take over the state.”
One of the women also suggests that the NRC will be restricted to Assam as the conversation descends into the communal territory. One of the women says that people with “Islamist mentality” are out to destroy a democratic system. It's questionable with respect to what they meant by "Islamist mentality" and the fact that they chose to single out this particular religion says a lot.
The video also mentions stone pelting, torching of buses, and the damage to public property. “What they did to the police, stone pelting, shooting at them — was it right? It’s enough now, whenever we will get an opportunity we will answer them in a democratic way,” she says - honestly, kind of threatening, don't you think?
The videos, done in a poorly crafted sketch format are being uploaded to make the CAA and NRC sound more friendly, and using millennial terms and fairly young women is just adding to the whole aura. If you ever need a fact check on what is happening, there is a whole website dedicated to it, you can read it here.