American lawmaker criticizes CAA implementation in India, Hindu groups defend

While the US State Department has raised concerns about CAA, Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPact) and the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation have backed the legislation.

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Courtesy: ANI

The implementation of India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has sparked controversy not only within India but also drawn attention from global quarters. American MP Ben Cardin has voiced concern over the ramifications of CAA, particularly on the Muslim community in India. However, Hindu organizations have rallied to justify the necessity of the law, citing humanitarian grounds and religious persecution faced by minorities in neighbouring countries.

Citizenship Amendment Act: Background and Reactions

The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed on December 11, 2019, aims to facilitate Indian citizenship for persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, including Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians. Those who entered India before December 31, 2014, are eligible under CAA. Indian Muslims have been assured that their citizenship remains unaffected by this legislation.

Chairman Ben Cardin's Concerns

Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ben Cardin, expressed distress over the implementation of CAA, particularly its potential impact on the Muslim community in India. He emphasized the importance of upholding human rights for all individuals, regardless of religion, in fostering the US-India relationship.

Support for CAA

While the US State Department has raised concerns about CAA, Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPact) and the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation have backed the legislation. They argue that CAA offers refuge to persecuted minorities and underscores India's commitment to protecting individuals from religious persecution.

Clarification from Hindu Organizations

Ajay Shah, from HinduPact, clarified that CAA does not affect Indian citizens but addresses the discrimination faced by Hindu minorities in neighbouring countries. He expressed disappointment with the US government's stance, urging support for oppressed communities.

Addressing Plight of Minorities

Deepti Mahajan, co-convenor of HinduPact, criticized the lack of attention to atrocities faced by Hindu, Sikh, and Christian minorities in Pakistan, highlighting the abduction and forced conversion of young girls. She emphasized the need to condemn such crimes and support India's efforts to assist victims.

Global Hindu Heritage Foundation's Perspective

VS Naipaul, representing the Global Hindu Heritage Foundation, asserted that CAA addresses the plight of minorities facing persecution in neighbouring Islamic countries. He dismissed claims that the law is impractical, emphasizing its significance in safeguarding secularism, peace, and humanity.

The debate surrounding India's Citizenship Amendment Act continues to evoke contrasting opinions globally. While American MP Ben Cardin expresses apprehension over its impact, Hindu organizations defend CAA, citing humanitarian grounds and the need to protect persecuted minorities. As discussions unfold, the imperative of upholding human rights and addressing religious persecution remains at the forefront of the discourse.