Notifying CAA during Ramzan makes it worse: U.S. Senator

U.S. Senate Foreign Relations chief Ben Cardin wades into CAA row, after sharp exchanges between Delhi and Washington

March 19, 2024 10:53 am | Updated March 20, 2024 07:43 pm IST - Washington

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin.

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin. | Photo Credit: AFP

Adding to the heated exchange of words between Delhi and Washington over the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Chair of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has questioned the timing of the Modi government’s decision. In a statement issued in Washington on Monday, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin said that he was “deeply concerned” by the Indian government’s decision to notify the “controversial” CAA and its “potential ramifications” for India’s Muslim community. 

“Making matters worse is the fact that it is being pushed during the holy month of Ramadan (Ramzan). As the U.S.-India relationship deepens, it is critically important that our cooperation is based on our shared values of protecting the human rights of all persons, regardless of religion.”

Eye on India

The MEA declined to comment on the remarks by the U.S. Senator, who most recently was in the news for placing a temporary hold on a US Congress notification for the sale of 31 MQ-9B armed drones to India, over the issue of the alleged plot to assassinate Sikh separatist Gurpatwant Singh Pannun. Mr. Cardin removed his hold only after he said he received assurances that the US government would ensure a thorough investigation and full cooperation from New Delhi into allegations that a senior Indian official had overseen a plan to hire a hitman to kill Mr. Pannun. 

Explained |Citizenship Amendment Act: Legal issues and status of judicial proceedings

Last week the MEA had responded sharply to the U.S. State department statement on the notification of rules for the CAA, passed in 2019, which provides a fast track to citizenship for people of all religions except Muslims, who fled persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and arrived in India prior to December 31, 2014. In response to the US State department’s concerns and the need for the “equal treatment under the law for all communities” in democracies, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal had said there were no grounds for concern on the treatment of minorities in India, calling the US spokespersons comments “misplaced, misinformed and unwarranted”, and accusing the US administration of practicing “vote bank politics”. 

Another exchange was witnessed over the weekend, as both U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti and External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar spoke at the same conclave organised by the India Today group. Mr. Garcetti’s contention, when asked about the Indian pushback to the US on the CAA was that one cannot give up on principles, “no matter how close you are as friends”. In response, Mr. Jaishankar said that “I have principles too, and one of them is obligation to people who were let down at the time of Partition,” referring to those Indian minorities who remained in Pakistan and Bangladesh post-1947 but subsequently fled to India.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.