CAA through the prism to legality and human rights

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Bhubaneswer : Citizenship Amendment Act-2019-CAA is continuation of India’s historical commitment to humanitarian values and solidarity with oppressed. Those who claim CAA is anti-constitutional or goes against Indian Muslims’ interests are utterly misguided. CAA is narrowly tailored Act to expedite the process of granting citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christians and Parsi of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. These six communities have been persecuted due to their faith. There is nothing threatening in CAA-2019 for Muslims of India.

Right after independence, India and Pakistan signed pact to protect minorities in their respective countries, whereas Pakistan failed to uphold its commitments. Hence, government made provision to grant citizenship to assist those persecuted unjustly on their religious ground. Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel, emphasized the importance of embracing diversity and protecting minority rights. In line with these ethos, the government is formulating policies to grant citizenship to six non-Muslims communities of neighbouring countries who had fled from their country with desire to make India their home. This gesture is not only commendable, but also affirmed India’s commitment to support and uphold the human rights. It is unfortunate that some leaders who claim to be champion of protecting minorities’ rights are inciting misinformation especially among Indian Muslims for their political agendas. Indian government in 2004 delegated power to District Magistrate of six districts in Rajasthan to grant citizenship to minority communities of Pakistan. This had not impacted Muslims of those district in any manners, their rights has been preserved.

In Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, minority communities, especially non- Muslims, have faced persecution, discrimination, and violence due to their religious affiliations. The CAA aims to address this by providing a legal pathway for these refugees to expedite the process to grant Indian citizenship to lead a dignified life. Extending citizenship to these refugees aligns with India’s historical commitment to providing sanctuary to persecuted communities.

Through CAA, India not only honoured its past but also laid the foundation for a
more inclusive and compassionate future. This historical decision exemplifies the country’s spirit of tolerance, respect for human rights, and transcends cultural and
religious boundaries.

Some politicians strategically emphasize CAA as anti-Muslim in a way that could polarize communities for electoral advantage. This approach, they contend, diverts attention from broader developmental issues and could contribute to a divisive political environment that would be counterproductive to their sort sighted politics. We should avoid such rhetoric and open our arms beyond religious and political lines. CAA is a benign piece of legislation which seeks to provide relaxation to specific communities to tackle the problem of religious persecution of the past seven decades.

Adnan Qamar (General Secretary, Pasmanda Muslims Action Committee, Hyderabad)

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