“The CAA is in line with United Nation’s Declaration of Minority Rights, should be welcomed by all,” says George Kurian, Vice-Chairman of National Commission for Minorities
   17-Dec-2019

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National Commission for Minorities thanked the Modi Government for granting citizenship to the persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh

National Commission for Minorities, in a press release, today thanked the Modi Government for granting citizenship to the persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. George Kurian, Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, said that he wholeheartedly welcomes the promulgation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (CAA) 2019.

“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Centre and for including Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains who are minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh for giving relaxation for granting citizenship. The NCM is flooded with messages from Christian leaders of all denominations across the country welcoming the new legislation. They tell me ‘Justice has finally been done to Christians who are victims of draconian blasphemy laws, religious conversions and abductions.’” Shri George Kurian said.
 
Shri Kurian has alleged that those who are vociferously advocating for minority rights in India are silent on the persecution of minorities in Pakistan. In their opinion, they are disqualified for according citizenship in India.
 
The vice-chairman of the National Minority Commission said that the CAA is in line with the United Nation’s Declaration of Minority Rights, 1992 and United Nation’s Convention against Torture, 1984.” According to the 1992 Declaration, it is ‘the duty of every country to protect minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of their identity’. UN agencies including other international organizations, accepted that violence against minorities is rampant in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. That is why the minorities from those countries migrate to India. According to the 1984 Declaration, no country ‘shall extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger and would be subjected to torture’. If the relaxation which is granted under CAA is withdrawn, members of Christian and other communities who migrate to India would have to be extradited to their respective countries. They will certainly be subjected to torture in those countries,” Shri Kurian explained.
 
“Minorities in India are well-protected and that is why the minorities in India never migrate to neighbouring countries. But that fact that minorities from neighbouring countries migrating to India speaks volumes of the plight of minorities in those countries,” he added.

Full text of the press statement of Vice-Chairman Shri George Kurian
 
As the Vice-Chairman and Christian member of the National Commission for Minorities, I wholeheartedly welcome the promulgation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, (CAA) 2019. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Centre and for including Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains who are minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh for giving relaxation for granting citizenship. The NCM is flooded with messages from Christian leaders of all denominations across the country welcoming the new legislation. They tell me ‘Justice has finally been done to Christians who are victims of draconian blasphemy laws, religious conversions and abductions.’
 
Having said that I would like to state that in a democratic society, every individual has the right to oppose any legislation which he/she thinks undesirable, but if justice is done to certain communities, that should be welcomed by all. I would like to express my deep anguish and pain that those who are opposing CAA never welcomed the inclusion of these miniscule communities. This, in a way, amounts to saying that being a minority in Pakistan is a disqualification in India for getting justice. Those who are vociferously advocating for minority rights in India are silent on the persecution of minorities in Pakistan. In their opinion, they are disqualified for according citizenship in India.
In the Preamble of our Constitution, it is clearly stated that …”We, the people of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India….”, that means the Constitution provides equal rights to all citizens of India. In CAA, it is mentioned only about the illegal migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It does not refer to citizens of India. That means those who are coming from those countries will only be affected by it. Those who are opposing this Act without welcoming the inclusion of Christians and other communities, are depriving Indian citizenship and justice to those people belonging to those communities who are being subjected to victimisation and torture on religious grounds.
Another important point is that by this legislation, communities other than the six communities mentioned in the Act will not be affected in any manner.
CAA is in line with United Nation’s Declaration of Minority Rights, 1992 and United Nation’s Convention against Torture, 1984. According to the 1992 Declaration, it is ‘the duty of every country to protect minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for the promotion of their identity’. UN agencies including other international organizations, accepted that violence against minorities is rampant in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. That is why the minorities from those countries migrate to India. According to the 1984 Declaration, no country ‘shall extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger and would be subjected to torture’. If the relaxation which is granted under CAA is withdrawn, members of Christian and other communities who migrate to India would have to be extradited to their respective countries. They will certainly be subjected to torture in those countries.
Minorities in India are well-protected and that is why the minorities in India never migrate to neighbouring countries. But that fact that minorities from neighbouring countries migrating to India speaks volumes of the plight of minorities in those countries.