NEW DELHI: Noted political scientist Ashutosh Varshney and human rights lawyer Aman Wadud, in a late-night hearing of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, hit out at the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act.
In their testimonies to the Commission, while Varshey said the NRC, coupled with the CAA, would lead to a number of Muslims in India being rendered stateless, Wadud called the NRC exclusionary.
Talking of the “serious implications” of the CAA, Varshney said that Indian Muslims could face oppression in the future.
“The CAA, the NRC can render stateless a large number of Muslims, even if they were born in India and lived in the country for decades, as have their ancestors. That is an important reason (anti-CAA) protests have not ceased,” Varshney said in his testimony.
Wadud said it has already been seen what the NRC process can do to the minorities in India.
“There are no illegal migrants in Assam. The NRC has exposed the propaganda of large-scale illegal migration into Assam. The fear of losing their citizenship forced people to protest, to come on the streets, particularly women who will tell you that (they) do not want to go to the detention centres. The protests are against CAA, NPR and NRC - which is a sinister design,” he said.
India, unlike Pakistan, was not created with a vision based on religion, Varshney said, adding that the country has always been lauded since its Independence for its inclusiveness.
The USCRIF hearing came months after the body called for sanctions against Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders of the Narendra Modi government over the CAA.
The CAA provides for citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before 2014.