13, Dec 2019 | Yesha Kotak
A day after the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, activists in the city addressed the media saying that the bill ignores India’s historical role as a country which provides refuge to people those seeking asylum.
Teesta Setalvad, a civil rights activist, said CAB and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) being implemented at the same time would further worsen the economic crisis.
“The citizens of our country are already dealing with precariousness stemming from an unprecedented economic downturn and the weakening of labour protections. CAB creates additional apprehensions in terms of capacities such as time, money, and attention,” said Setalvad.
Mihir Desai, an advocate, spoke about the plight of Shias, Ahmadiyas, Bahai in Pakistan and Bangladesh, Tamils in Sri Lanka, and Rohingyas in Myanmar, saying that though they have been repeatedly facing persecution in these countries, the bill doesn’t mention of these minorities. “The government’s apparent disinterest in ensuring humane living conditions for these groups leads to a risk that they will be denied refuge. They would be rendered stateless, which is in violation of global human rights norms,” said Desai.
The bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, amends the Citizenship Act, 1955, to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who entered India on or before 31 December 2014, eligible for Indian citizenship. It now awaits the President’s assent to become a law.
The original article may be read here.