From CAA to Art 370 Abrogation: 5 of Modi govt's boldest moves

After his thumping victory in 2019 Lok Sabha polls Prime Minister Narendra Modi is surprising everyone with new policies and law. Whether it be NRC or CAA, Modi government has taken many big-ticket decisions including demonetisation and surgical strikes against Pakistan.

In preparing to face the challenges of the prime ministership, Modi laid out several promises during his campaign. Most of the promises even his followers didn't believe that those will be fulfilled. Now that he has completed six years in 7, here's a look at which promises completely shocked his own supporters.

Triple Talaq:

In July, 2019 the triple talaq bill was passed in Parliament (Rajya Sabha), a major victory for the Narendra Modi government. Scrapping of the practice has been one of the main planks of the BJP, whose government at the Centre led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Supreme Court had declared the practice of instant triple talaq unconstitutional and a divorce pronounced by uttering talaq three times in one sitting void and illegal. The triple talaq bill of the previous Narendra Modi government lapsed with the dissolution of the Lok Sabha upon completion of its tenure. The Rajya Sabha had not approved the bill back then. It was the first draft legisltation that the Narendra Modi 2.0 cabinet passed after being voted back to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Article 370:

In August 2019, Modi-led government scrapped Article 370 of the Constitution that grants special status to Jammu and Kashmir, with an order saying “it shall come into force at once". The abrogation follows the Centre introducing the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill in Parliament.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party had long opposed Article 370 and revoking it was in the party's 2019 election manifesto.

To ensure there was no violence, particularly in Kashmir, over the decision, the Centre implemented stringent curbs on people's movement and communication systems. Just ahead of Home Minister Amit Shah's landmark announcement in Rajya Sabha, Jammu and Kashmir, except Leh, was turned into a garrison with security forces and police deployed in every nook and corner with the army also assisting in securing the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Ram Mandir:

On November 9, 2019, a special bench of Supreme Court decided unanimously that the disputed site of 1,500 square yards in Ayodhya belongs to deity Ramlalla Virajman, and paved the way for the construction of a grand Ram temple.

After the Supreme Court's historic verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple title dispute, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said no one should look at it as "victory or defeat". "Whether it's Ramashakti or Rahimshakti, this is the time to strengthen the spirit of Bharatbhakti," said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that everyone should maintain "peace, harmony and unity".

Demonetisation:

Modi shocked Indians in November 2016 when he announced on live television that all 500 and 1000-rupee notes would be banned in four hours’ time. People were given several weeks to exchange their demonetised currency for new notes at banks. But new notes could not be printed fast enough, and the policy sparked a months-long currency crunch that left tens of millions of Indians cashless or standing in line for hours each day to retrieve small sums of cash.

More than 99% of the currency that India declared void in a surprise announcement in 2016 was returned to the country’s banks in subsequent weeks, according to a Reserve Bank of India (RBI) report.

The figures suggest prime minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation policy, which likely wiped at least 1% from the country’s GDP and cost at least 1.5m jobs, failed to wipe significant hordes of unaccounted wealth from the Indian economy.

Citizenship Amendment Act

India's parliament has passed a bill which offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries. The bill provides citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The government, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), says this will give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution. Critics say the bill is part of a BJP agenda to marginalise Muslims. The bill has already prompted widespread protests in the north-east of the country which borders Bangladesh, as many people there say they will be "overrun" by immigrants from across the border.

Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) says the Citizenship Amendment Act will make it easier for “persecuted minorities” from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh to claim Indian citizenship.

NRC

A trial run of the NRC was completed in the northeastern state of Assams. The state’s 33 million residents were asked to prove they had been residents of India since at least 1971, and 1.9 million were left off the list in August, when they could not. (Many people who have lived in Assam for generations were left off the list, for example because of misspelled names on official documents or because they were forced to flee their homes, leaving papers behind.) The government began constructing detention camps to hold those who fail to prove their citizenship at an appeal. But to the dismay of local BJP politicians, when statistics emerged about those left off the list, it turned out that a substantial proportion were Hindus, not Muslims.

Shah has repeatedly said he wants to roll out the NRC across the rest of India at an unspecified time in the near future. And many protesters and advocacy groups fear the Citizenship Amendment Act is a way for Modi’s Hindu nationalist government to guarantee expedited Indian citizenship for Hindus left off a future nationwide list of citizens, while denying that citizenship to Muslims who cannot prove they are Indian.

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