The Citizenship (Amendment) Act: A Perspective on Inclusivity and Sanctuary

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bhubaneswer( prabaha tv) : The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) has again ignited fervent
discussions across the country after the implementation of the ‘Rules for the CAA’ before the next Lok Sabha elections. Designed to offer expedited Indian
citizenship to persecuted minorities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from neighbouring Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, the Act
evoked intense emotional response, especially from amongst Muslims, couple of years ago.

It’s crucial to dispel the misconceived notion that the CAA is fundamentally anti-Muslim. This legislation is specifically tailored to provide sanctuary to religious minorities who face severe persecution in their home countries. India, as a formidable Hindu-majority state, stands as a beacon of hope for these vulnerable communities, offering them refuge and a pathway to Indian citizenship. The government contends that the CAA is a targeted response to the specific persecution faced by religious minorities in select neighbouring countries, crafted within the legislative framework to address a well-defined humanitarian crisis. The Act’s exclusion of Muslims is not an attempt to exclude them from the fabric of Indian society. Rather, it recognizes that Muslims constitute the majority in these neighbouring nations and thus do not face the same level of persecution as religious minorities do. Moreover, Muslims possess alternative pathways to citizenship, including naturalization, available to any individual meeting the prescribed criteria.

As India moved forward with the implementation of the CAA’s rules, it’s imperative to uphold the humanitarian spirit that underlies this legislation. While the act aims to address the plight of persecuted minorities, it’s equally essential to ensure that communal harmony prevails, and no individual feels marginalized or excluded. The focus must remain steadfast on extending humanitarian aid while upholding India’s cherished values of inclusivity and diversity.

-Insha Warsi Journalism and Francophone studies, Jamia Millia Islamia

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