Backing the government on the Citizenship Amendment Act, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday said that the central government had kept that Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Congress had made to people who were living deplorable lives in Pakistan. He said the foundation of the Act was laid in 1985 and 2003.
“The government has kept the promise that Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit ji and Congress had made to people who were living deplorable lives in Pakistan. The foundation of Act was laid in 1985 and 2003, the government just gave a legal form to it,” ANI quoted Governor Khan as saying. This comes amid the widespread protests against recently-passed citizenship law, which has been now called ‘discriminatory’ by opposition parties including the Congress.
After the amendment in the citizenship law, the people from six minority communities — Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Christian and Parsi — who have come to India before December 2014 will be granted Indian citizenship. The government has not included Muslims, arguing that all three countries are Muslim dominated and it is highly unlikely that Muslims will be persecuted here for their religious beliefs.
Speaking on why Muslims have been excluded, the Kerala Governor said: “Pakistan was formed as a Muslim nation, so will they persecute Muslims also there? We admit Muslims came from Pakistan and Bangladesh, but not because they were persecuted but in search of economic opportunities.”
Arif Mohammad Khan was hinting at resolutions and letters that the Congress and its leaders had passed and written in the past demanding citizenship to persecuted people from minority communities living in our neighbouring countries. Several Congress leaders including Manmohan Singh had favoured citizenship to Hindus and other minority group living a miserable life in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In 2003, the then Rajya Sabha leader for Congress, Manmohan Singh, had said that the minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution and it was India’s moral obligation that if circumstances forced those unfortunate people to seek refuge in our country then the government should have liberal approach to grant citizenship to those unfortunate people.
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Source: Financial Express