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Demonstrators burn copies of Citizenship Amendment Bill during a protest in New Delhi, India on Wednesday. Adnan Abidi/ Reuters

If I was to choose an appropriate protest song for the nationwide stir in India against the new citizenship bill, Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” would be my undisputed choice (“Centre plans deportation of Rohingya, says Minister,” Jan.4, Gulf Today).

The song which was penned by the legendary singer in the 1960 holds so true even to the modern day. The refrain ‘the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind’ is but the only answer to the rhetorical questions we keep asking on war, peace and freedom.

Going back to India, the government’s double-speak is clear for everyone to see. While on the one hand Modi said that the Bill is meant to ‘give refugee’ to the persecuted refugees, on the other, his Union Minister of State, Jitendra Singh, says that the government will next make a move to deport Rohingya refugees from India. Aren’t the devices of the BJP government clear?

Rohingya refugees are refugees, but for India, they belong to Myanmar and are not eligible for Indian citizenship under the CAA as they are not part of the six religious minorities from three neighbouring states —Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Bangladesh on the other hand is housing over a million Rohingyas since the 2017 crisis. If India is a country worth its salt and seeks to continue enjoying the reputation, it has earned over the centuries, of being a nation which has housed the needy, it should rethink on its decision to deport the over 40,000 Rohingyas settled in their land.

“The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.”

Ralph R — By email

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