In the ongoing misinformation campaign launched by the opposition with regards to Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) an often quoted irrelevant question regarding exclusion of Rohingyas and Tamils from the said Act is becoming very popular to label the Act as discriminatory. “The question is irrelevant because these two are not the minorities in the three theocratic states mentioned in the Act. The Act pertains to persecuted minorities of Islamic Republics of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh,” stated Brig Anil Gupta, Spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party, Jammu & Kashmir.
Clarifying further, Brig Gupta said, “The Rohingya from Myanmar cannot count as they have infiltrated via Bangladesh and it was the responsibility of that country to take them in. India is thus not the first country of refuge. Moreover, Rohingyas have not been accepted by the Muslim countries like Malaysia and Bangladesh. The Home Minister of Bangladesh has labelled them as ‘a threat to internal peace and national security’. In 1940s, the Rohingyasdemanded secession from the main land and wanted to establish an “Islamic State” in the Rakhine province of Myanmar.”With these credentials, why the opposition should be supporting Indian citizenship for themis a question which the opposition needs to answer to the nation.
“The Tamils also do not fall into this category. They were fighting for a separate homeland and not escaping from religious persecution,” stated Brig Gupta. Some vested interests have also raised the issue of Ahmadias. With respect to the Ahmadiya, Brig Gupta clarified, “they were the ones who took up arms to establish the state of Pakistan. They made a choice to live in an Islamic state. Ahmadiyas formed a separate Furqan Battalion to support the tribal raiders who invaded the state of Jammu & Kashmir in October 1947 at the behest of Pakistan. In any case, they are well off in Pakistan and their population has shown a perceptible increase, unlike that of the Hindus and other minorities who have practically been decimated. Ahmadiyas have settled in, more than 200 nations across the globe and are 4 million strong in Pakistan. They are well educated and have good jobs compared to the other minorities which were mainly being used for menial tasks and farm labour.”
In any case, there is no restriction on Muslims or other citizens of other countries for applying for Indian citizenship which can be granted to them under section 6 of the Citizenship Act,1955, asserted Brig Gupta. Thus, any form of misgiving and propaganda being spread in this regard is malicious, aimed at creating communal rift and demonstrates opposition’s ill intent, rued Brig Gupta.
Brig Gupta further said, “The CA Bill 2016 was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 19, 2016 and was thereafter sent to the Select Committee of Parliament on 12 August, 2016. It was with the Select Committee for almost two and a half years. The present Bill incorporated all the suggestions and amendments suggested by the Select Committee. What else is needed? The hard reality is that even now as long as it was a Bill, the opposition had no problem because it was hopeful of defeating it in the Rajya Sabha. But when they failed in Rajya Sabha and it became an Act, the opposition lost no opportunity in taking to the streets leading to riots, arson, loot and vandalism. A clear cut example of opportunistic politics and a blot on parliamentary democracy.”