1. CAA Violet Right to Equality since it doesn’t include Muslims from the countries in the Scope of the Act?
– No it doesn’t. The Article 14 of Constitution gives powers to the Parliament to have Non-arbitrary classifications. For Example, Gender based scholarships, caste based reservations, etc. Using this classification ability, the Government has classified the scope as “Religiously Presecuted Minorities” of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and has planned to offer them citizenship. Since muslims are not a minority in these countries therefore they are not included.
2. Okay so what is need to classify only the “religiously persecuted minority” of these countries?
– The Background of the bill goes back to 1950 when Nehru and Liyaqat Ali signed a pact and agreed to safeguard the ‘Minorities’ in their respective countries. Furthermore, the Minority population in India flourished in terms of number, but on the other hand there has been a steep decline in the percentage of Minority population in Pakistan, Bangladesh (and Afganistan). Since the pact failed, India is taking a morally bound responsibility to take care of these minorities who are impacted because of religious persecution.
3. Okay so when we are taking moral responsibility, why limit to only these three countries?
– India has been taking moral responsibility of different countries at different times. In 1965, India negotiated pact with Sri Lanka where we offered citizenship to 300K Tamils. We have given citizenship to Ugandans and we are home to around 100k of Tibetians . In case you don’t know, the Tibetian Government in Exile runs from India. India has a pact with Nepal where Indians and Nepalese can buy land, do business or any other Job in any of the two countries. (Can add Adnan Sami in the list as well )
4. Okay Okay Okay so what about Rohingya Muslims?
– Firstly, Rohingyas are not only Muslims but Hindus too. Secondly, Rohingyas has been flagged as a security concern by Indian Intelligence agencies. Lastly, the current Geo-Politics of the regions doesn’t allow us to take heads on with the Myanmar Government. Any such move will further push them towards China which will be a huge diplomatic and strategic failure of Indian Foreign policy.
5. Okay agreed CAA in itself now looks good but what about any case of persecuted Muslims from these countries. They should also be helped. Right?
– Glad that you agreed that CAA doesn’t deserve to be protested and the poor religiously persecuted minorities of these countries should be helped ASAP. Coming to other persecutions, they can also always apply and get citizenship based on case to case merit (like Adnan Sami). CAA doesn’t disturbs the other methods of getting Indian Citizenship.
6. Okay thanks Man. I still have doubts about NRC process. We will discuss on that
– Surely we will when the NRC draft bill or NRC bill comes in the Parliament . Thanks for discussing and understanding CAA
(Authour is a NIFT alumnus and policy enthusiast)