Largest statelessness crisis in the world could cause widespread human suffering
DESPARDES — In a scathing denouncement of Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), European Union (EU) lawmakers have drafted a formal five-page resolution that is expected to internationalize the ‘situation’ in India observers say — the resolution will be tabled during the plenary session of the European Parliament (EU) starting in Brussels next week and comes weeks after German Chancellor Angela Merkel during a visit to Delhi in November called the “Situation not good, not sustainable”.
The CAA could trigger the “largest statelessness crisis in the world and cause widespread human suffering”, the powerful group of 154 European Parliament members have warned.
The 154 lawmakers belong to the second-largest political caucus in the European Parliament. They are committed to upholding social justice and democratic values such as Equality, Diversity and Fairness.
Their draft resolution not only describes the ‘Anti-Muslim’ CAA as “discriminatory and dangerously divisive” but also a violation of India’s “international obligations” under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and other Human Rights treaties to which New Delhi is a signatory.
Significantly, the resolution also refers pointedly to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, to which India is also bound.
The CAA “has sparked massive protests against its implementation, with 27 reported deaths, 175 injured and thousands arrested and reports that the Indian government has ordered internet shutdowns, imposed curfews and placed limits on public transportation to prevent peaceful protests”.
Moreover, “reports have emerged of hundreds of protesters being beaten, shot, and tortured, in particular in Uttar Pradesh (UP)”, it said.
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Last week, the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) lowered India 10 spots on Democracy Index, citing erosion of civil liberties in the country.
Priyamvada Gopal, who teaches in the Faculty of English at Cambridge University, weighed in the situation in her country-of-origin, saying the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) shows that the ideological civil war in India has taken a new violent turn.
Some of the most well-respected and admired Indians who enjoy repute across the Indian Ocean, have also stood up and spoken out against the BJP-ruled government’s CAA as it huddles to add Hindutva sheen to the world’s largest democracy.
Earlier in August, PM Modi-led BJP government abrogated special (autonomy) status to occupied Kashmir sending wrong signals across the border and wider region and the world kept silent. But not award-winning novelist and activist Arundhati Roy and several scholars though.
Known for her steely stands on human rights, openness and pluralism, Roy denounced the CAA and called for resisting it. “We need to fight against it and have a plan. When they visit your home for NPR, and ask for your name give them some different name. For address say 7 RCR. A lot of subversion will be needed, we are not born to face lathis and bullets”…attacks are taking place on Muslims in UP. Police are going house to house ransacking and looting”.
“It looks very much as though our government has gone rogue…”
Roy was one of the first to raise red flag against Modi’s annexation of occupied Kashmir: “The silence is the loudest sound in Kashmir” Roy wrote in the NY Times in August as most world government’s kept silent.
This week, however, The Economist aggregated the matter and published “Intolerant India” as its cover story: “India’s 200m Muslims Fear PM Modi is Building a Hindu State“.
The article, incidentally, is a double-down on India by the prestigious internationally read mag as compared with its 10 year earlier report. ‘Shining India’ is an economic force to reckon with south of China which is forecasted to become the numero uno in global economy in coming years, it had forecasted.
The hitherto growing economy of India stands dented now, according to IMF and Moody’s, and its polity polarized on the platter of religious identities — a characteristic many of India’s thought-leaders and founding PM Jawaharlal Nehru had braved to harness and make it an ocean of positivity and diversity.
That mirror is being hammered.
This week, Bollywood’s award-winning creative actor and pillar of art cinema Naseeruddin Shah bemoaned in an interview that after 70 years he has come to realize that as a ‘Muslim’ he cannot live in India.