'India's most important characteristic is its plurality': MJ Akbar, others defend government on CAA

Updated: Mar 01, 2020, 10:45 IST | ANI | Geneva

Fulvio Martusciello, insisting on the ever-present brotherhood and peace in the country, stated that the CAA will not affect the rights of minorities and has no provisions that include Indian citizens

MJ Akbar
MJ Akbar

India's most important characteristic is its plurality and the Constitution gives equal rights to everyone irrespective of its religion, Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha MJ Akbar said on Saturday at a special meeting held in Geneva to discuss the Citizenship Amendment Act. The meeting -- which was held on the sidelines of the United Nations Human Rights Council session -- saw the participation of Indian and European Parliamentarians, along with several journalists. Other than Akbar, the panelists included the Chief Imam of India Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Journalist Atika Ahmed Farooqui, Executive Director of South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) Paulo Casaca and Member of European Parliament Fulvio Martusciello, among others.

Fulvio Martusciello, insisting on the ever-present brotherhood and peace in the country, stated that the CAA will not affect the rights of minorities and has no provisions that include Indian citizens. The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who came to India on or before December 31, 2014. The legislation has drawn nationwide protests since it was given nod in the Parliament last year.

Ahmed Ilyasi drew the attention to the Muslim community in India stating "India has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world...and it welcomes all diverse viewpoints".

Paulo Casaca focused on the role of Europe in this disinformation campaign stating that the EU institutions are feeding the hatred and chaos. He warned the EU to change its attitude first towards the refugees at its borders before interfering in India. He added that the CAA provides a special fast track procedure to certain groups from certain neighbouring countries.

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