The Afghan crisis and what message India can send the world through CAA
New Delhi, Aug 24: With the scenario in the war-torn Afghanistan getting worse by the day, India has launched missions to evacuate its citizens and others in need from the country.
Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said recently that the developments in Afghanistan are the reason why the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act is necessary.
"Recent developments in our volatile neighbourhood and the way Sikhs and Hindus are going through a harrowing time are precisely why it was necessary to enact the Citizenship Amendment Act," Puri said in a tweet.
Experts that OneIndia spoke with say that it is time to start implementing the CAA now at least for those persecuted minorities staying in India. It is the right time to give a message to the international community that this is the only country where people who are persecuted can get refuge.
If one looks at the manner in which things are going on Afghanistan where would the persecuted minorities go. The Muslims of Afghanistan can go anywhere, but what about the persecuted Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. One must remember that if we start the CAA, it would encourage the Hindus and Sikhs from Afghanistan to come to their promised land. They were after all part of Greater Bharat, the expert cited above says.
After the announcement of CAA protests had broken out across the country. The Act seeks two amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindus, Sikhs, Parsi, Buddhists and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have lived in India without documentation.
According to the CAA these persons will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years. So far the standard eligibility requirement for naturalisation was 12 years of residence.
Following the Taliban take over earlier this month, scores of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus have been queuing up outside the Kabul International Airport. They are desperately looking to get out of Afghanistan as they are fearful of religious persecution. They have been pleading with the Indian and US government to be evacuated at the earliest. India has so far brought back 800 people from Afghanistan.
Given the ongoing situation and history of the Taliban for religious persecution, it would be the right time to start granting citizenship for those persecuted minorities who have been living in India. This would send out a strong message not only to the world, but to all those who have been opposing it. This would also give hope to those being brought in from Afghanistan that in the next six years they would be entitled for citizenship.
The people of this country will now realise that the step taken by the Indian government will help the Hindus and Sikhs being thrown away from Afghanistan, BJP leader N Ramachandra Rao said. The religious persecution of these minorities in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan has forced them to leave their homes. Where will they go to if not India, Rao also said.