CAA is not a threat to Indian Muslims

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The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a piece of legislation that seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who have fled religious persecution in neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The act has been the subject of much controversy and debate, with some arguing that it discriminates against Muslims and violates India’s secular Constitution. However, supporters of the act argue that it is necessary to provide a safe haven for those who have faced persecution due to their religious beliefs. The Indian government has time and again reiterated that CAA is a humanitarian gesture aimed at providing relief and support to those who have been marginalised and oppressed.

The protections available to Indian Muslims under the Indian Constitution are crucial at understanding the impact of the CAA. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion and prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion. There is no denying the fact that Muslims in India have faced violence intermittently, however, law of the land has always taken its recourse (barring a few) and the cases were judged by impartial judiciary. Furthermore, it is important to recognise that religion plays a significant role in shaping the cultural and social fabric of India. While it is crucial to protect the rights of individuals to practice their own religion, it is equally important to foster interfaith understanding and respect. By educating the public about the true intentions of the CAA, we can prevent misunderstandings and promote harmony between different religious communities. It is important for Muslims to recognize and celebrate the diversity within their own country, including the various religions and cultures that make up India. They should not take CAA as discriminatory and prejudiced against them, which only serves to create divisions and further play into the hands of those divisive forces who want to create a dent in India’s pluralistic fabric. Muslims in India are neither foreigners nor refugees. Indian Muslims who are naturalised Indian citizens enjoy high regard and cannot be forcibly removed from the country. The Indian government has reiterated this statement on different occasions. The Citizenship Act does not pose any question or threat to the citizenship status of Indian Muslims or any other citizens. The Citizenship Amendment Act aims to grant citizenship to individuals rather than revoking their citizenship status. Minorities in India are considered as equal partners in the process of development, which implies the recognition of the diverse cultures and religions within India and the promotion of tolerance and acceptance among all communities. The Citizenship Amendment Act should be implemented in a fair and transparent manner, without any discrimination or bias. It is important for people to understand the true intent of the CAA and not spread misinformation or fear-mongering about its impact on Indian Muslims.

Altaf Mir,

PhD Scholar,

Jamia Millia Islamia

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