Thursday, December 19, 2019

As an Indian Hindu, my heart goes out to Pakistani Hindus who have sought refuge in India from religious persecution in Pakistan

As an Indian Hindu, my heart goes out to these Pakistani Hindus who have sought refuge in India from religious persecution in Pakistan, as per their accounts in this video. They are already in India for many years, some for decades, escaping from second-class citizen life in Pakistan. The CAA (referred to as CAB in the video as the video seems to have been made when it was still a bill, and not yet an act) has a cut off date sometime in Dec. 2014 and so will not apply to new refugees. I have to say that I would like them to be given Indian citizenship.

Pakistani Hindus share why Citizenship Amendment Bill is a ray of hope for them | Times Now i-Report, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNAvMLrxBFc, 12 min. 48 secs.

But what about Muslim refugees from Bangladesh in India for similar periods (don't know if there are Muslim refugees from Pakistan & Afghanistan in India)? Should they not be granted Indian citizenship? That, I think, is the big issue being raised by Opposition parties in India as the CAA does not extend this special treatment to Muslim refugees - they have to go by other acts in India dealing with refugees.

My personal view is that if there are Muslims from Bangladesh (or Pakistan and Afghanistan) who are suffering from religious persecution in their countries (note that some Muslim sects like Ahmadiyyas do face religious persecution in Pakistan), and the numbers of such refugees are not big enough to cause significant resentment from other Indians (as they then will compete with other Indians for resources & benefits provided to citizens), I think such persecuted Muslims too should be given Indian citizenship after due diligence to ensure that they are not faking it, really want to be Indian, and have no links to and no sympathy for violent Islamic extremism (terrorism).

[Note that some of the noted violent Islamic extremism that India and Indians have suffered in past decades are:
* 1993 Bombay (Mumbai) blasts, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1993_Bombay_bombings
* 2001 Indian parliament attack, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_Indian_Parliament_attack
* 2006 Mumbai train bombings, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2006_Mumbai_train_bombings
* 2008 Mumbai attacks, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Mumbai_attacks 
Also note that 9/11 Islamic terror attack in USA, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks, had many victims who were Indian nationals (41 Indian national dead victims, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks#Foreign_deaths, among 2977 total dead victims, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_September_11_attacks). end-Note]

But then that is only my individual view which makes no difference to Indian Parliament which is what enacts laws (or repeals them). The current CAA does not include Muslim refugees and that is the law of the land as of now, unless the Supreme Court overturns it after it finishes its hearings on pleas against it and gives the judgement. Note that Muslim refugees in India, as per my understanding, can still apply for Indian citizenship under other Indian laws (but that may be very slow and probability of getting citizenship may be low - I don't know for sure).

Here's the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 wiki page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_(Amendment)_Act,_2019. An extract from it is given below:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, is a legislation passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities—Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians—from the neighboring Muslim majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.[2]

To obtain citizenship under the amended law, one must have entered India by 31 December 2014, and have suffered "religious persecution or fear of religious persecution" in their country of origin.[2] The amendment also relaxes the residence requirement for naturalization of these migrants from 11 years to 5 years.[3] According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, over 30,000 migrants are expected to be the immediate beneficiaries of the amended Citizenship Act.[4]

The amendment has been subject to criticism from multiple quarters. Religious discrimination, as in not accommodating Muslims under the ambit of the amendment, has been alleged, including by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.[5][6][7]

[Wiki Refs:]
2. "Parliament passes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019". pib.gov.in. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
3. "The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019" (PDF). PRS India. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
4. "How many immigrants will benefit from Citizenship Act? 25,447 Hindus, 5,807 Sikhs, 55 Christians, two Buddhists and two Parsis, says Intelligence Bureau". Firstpost. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
5. "Citizenship Amendment Bill: Key things to know". The Times of India. 18 December 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
6. "Indian citizenship law discriminatory to Muslims passed". The Guardian. 11 December 2019.
7. NETWORK, LIVELAW NEWS (13 December 2019). "United Nations Human Rights Body Slams Citizenship Amendment Act; Calls It 'Fundamentally Discriminatory'". www.livelaw.in. Retrieved 18 December 2019.

--- end wiki extract ---

Readers may want to read my recent post on another blog: My recent Facebook posts about Citizenship Amendment Act critical of violent protests and misinformation but supportive of right to peaceful protest, https://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.com/2019/12/my-recent-facebook-posts-about.html.

[I thank Wikipedia and have presumed that they will not have any objections to me sharing the above extract(s) from their website on this post which is freely viewable by all, and does not have any financial profit motive whatsoever.]

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