Indian Parliament recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, which amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant citizenship to undocumented immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan belonging to six religious communities, who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. There have been nationwide protests against the Act and many scholars are terming it violative of the Constitution.
Suppose that you are an IAS officer stationed at Indore. You yourself believe that the Act is discriminatory and may lead to communal polarization of the country. You have got the information that two opposite religious groups are planning for 'Pro CAA' and 'Anti CAA' protests respectively. The venue and timing of both protests are the same. There are high chances of the matter getting out of hand and turning into communal riots that might spread in the whole district.
- Identify the ethical issues involved in the case.
- What is the best possible course of action to solve the matter in a peaceful manner?
The case pertains to communal tensions that may arise due to the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019. The Act stipulated that the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before December 31, 2014, will not be treated as illegal migrants.
Keeping one particular community out from the scope of the Act has created a fear amongst that community to be declared an illegal migrant. Also, Anti-CAA protesters argue that it is violative of Article 14 of the Constitution and the principle of secularism enshrined in the preamble of the constitution.
Facts of the case Stakeholders involved
Ethical issues involved
Anti-government feeling Opposing religious groups (Community) Personal values vs professional duties. Protest at the same venue (pro and Anti- CAA groups) District Administration (Government) Need for impartiality and non-partisanship Nationwide protests Society at large (Peace, law and order) Use of emotional intelligence for effective crowd management
The course of action to be followed
- The police should be asked to actively participate in venue assessment and preparedness checks and guide crowd and traffic movements.
- Deployment of forces at the venue to prevent any law and order problem and maintenance of strict security measures so that no one can carry arms at the venue of the protest.
- A public address system, with loudspeakers installed at all crowded points, to communicate with the crowds, should be setup.
- Use of CCTV cameras to monitor crowds and use of mini UAV in case crowd spread is too big.
- Traffic around the protest venue should be properly managed along with spacious entry and exit points.
- Medical first-aid rooms and emergency operations centres to handle post-disaster emergencies (if any) should be set up.
- Preparing the platform where both the groups can be made aware of fear-mongering and rumours on the issue so that peace and calm can be maintained in the city.
As an IAS officer, such sensitive cases require the application of emotional intelligence, so that the balance can be achieved whereby the right to dissent doesn’t get into conflict with the law, order and peace in society.
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