Letters

Bringing CAA into force

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It is ironic that Prime Minister Narendra Modi bothers much about people from minority communities in the neighbouring countries who face religious persecution but ignores the ill-treatment of minorities in his own backyard (Front page, “CAA meant to give citizenship, not take it away, says PM Modi,” Jan. 13). If he is keen on giving citizenship to persecuted minorities, why not draft a Refugees’ Citizenship Act instead of the CAA? Further, the stubbornness of Home Minister Amit Shah in enforcing the CAA with scant regard for the sentiments of the people is highly deplorable. Instead of trying to take common Indian citizens into confidence, the Modi-Shah duo is beating around the bush. Here, it is unfortunate that though the Opposition parties are all sailing in the same boat, some of them like the Trinamool Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party have failed to join hands with the Congress to devise a joint strategy against the CAA-NRC combine.

A. Jainulabdeen,

Chennai

There is no doubt whatsoever that the CAA is indeed about “giving citizenship”. The problem is not with the letter of the law, it is with its spirit and the intention behind formulating it, which pertains to the exclusion of one specific community from the Act’s provisions. If the government truly believes in constitutional values, it should show equal compassion towards all persecuted communities.

Shafar,

Hyderabad

There is no need to tolerate persecution of religious minorities in the neighbouring countries. At the same time, it is uncertain how the CAA by itself will make the world take note of the atrocities committed by Pakistan. What if this becomes a precedent and Pakistan brings a similar amendment in one of its laws? The explanation given by the Prime Minister on how the CAA will make Pakistan answerable for the treatment it has given to its minorities is ambiguous. On the contrary, this initiative may even embolden the forces which are already persecuting minorities. Amending legislation is not a recipe for safeguarding interests of minorities in neighbouring countries.

A. Venkatasubramanian

Tiruchi, Tamil Nadu

The unity shown by Opposition leaders during the swearing-in ceremony of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has fizzled out. A reluctance to play second fiddle to the Congress may have prompted Mamata Banerjee to miss the Congress-led Opposition parties meeting. As for Arvind Kejriwal, Congress being a key rival to AAP in the ensuring Delhi elections, he perhaps wants to keep a distance from the meeting. This disunity among Opposition parties will only help BJP to push through its agenda with ease.

D. Sethuraman,

Chennai

There is widespread opposition to the CAA and the NRC across the country. Even leaders attached to the ruling National Democratic Alliance have openly aired their dissent against an arbitrary imposition of the two. More than 20 lives have been lost in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. Amidst these agitations and protests, Mr. Shah’s determination to implement the Act signals political arrogance. It is becoming obvious that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has mistaken its majority to be a mandate to implement a communal agenda without caring either for the concerns of the people or the sinking economy.

A.G. Rajmohan,

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

Prime Minister Narendra Modi bases his case for the CAA on the contention that the law is meant ‘to give citizenship, not to take it away’. But his line of argument does not hold for two main reasons. One, religion is made the criterion or determinant of citizenship. Two, the law snatches the right to citizenship prospectively from Muslims because of their religion.

The CAA is problematic and unconscionable because it legalises religious discrimination. It is simplistic, shallow and fallacious for the Prime Minister to say from the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission, of all places, that the CAA grants citizenship and does not snatch it away from anyone.

The citizenship law should have, instead, been amended to give citizenship to all persecuted minorities of all religious persuasions from all neighbouring countries. People in distress are people in distress. People persecuted are people persecuted. Why divide persecuted people on the basis of religion?

No amount of rationalisation can alter the fact the CAA fundamentally changes the basis of citizenship. Mr. Modi’s invocation of Mahatma Gandhi to justify a law that negates the constitutionally promised equality of religions is an affront to the Mahatma’s memory. The incumbent Prime Minister should know that Mahatma Gandhi was a martyr to the cause of Hindu-Muslim unity and avoid dragging his holy name to validate unholy things.

It is not clear whether Pakistan will now stop persecuting minorities fearing the amended citizenship law in India.

G. David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

 

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 12:45:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/bringing-caa-into-force/article30561295.ece

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