Congress has been calling CAA 'discriminatory' as it doesn't include Muslims. But this is exactly what the Congress leaders were demanding when they said that the Indian government should take care of minority communities in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Congress along with other opposition parties has hit the streets against the Citizenship Amendment Act but it is the same legislation it had been demanding for years to protect the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis — belonging to minority communities — living in our neighboring Islamic nations namely Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. During the debate on then CAB in Parliament, various legislators including Home Minister Amit Shah referred to letters and resolutions that had been written/passed by the Congress seeking help for ‘non-Muslims’ coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
None other than former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the CWC, the highest decision-making body of the Congress, had made this demand. Ironically, Manmohan Singh too has not supported the current Citizenship Law despite once having demanded the same law he has been calling discriminatory.
Congress has been calling the current law a ‘discriminatory’ as it doesn’t include Muslims. But this is exactly what the Congress leaders were demanding when they said that the Indian government should take care of minority communities in Bangladesh and Pakistan, and Muslims are not in minority in any of the three nations that the Act mentions — it’s Hindus, Jains, Parsis, Buddhists and Christians who are in minority.
Manmohan Singh himself had admitted that these people had faced persecution, therefore Indian should consider granting citizenship to these people. “With regard to the treatment of refugees after the partition of our countries, the minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force these unfortunate people to seek refuge in our country our approach to grant citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be liberal,” Manmohan Singh had said while speaking in Rajaya Sabha on December 18, 2003.
In 2003, speaking in Rajya Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh, then Leader of Opposition, asked for a liberal approach to granting citizenship to minorities, who are facing persecution, in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Citizenship Amendment Act does just that… pic.twitter.com/7BOJJMdkKa
Not only Manmohan but several other Congress leaders had raised the minority persecution issue before and wanted some legislation in the country to offer them citizenship in India. In an interview to India Today, Amit Shah recently said that before protesting against the Act, the Congress should read and listen to what Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajendra Prasad, Congress Working Proposal of 25 November 1947, Manmohan Singh and Ashok Gehlot had said on the condition of minorities in Pakistan.
“They all were in favour of granting citizenship to non-Muslims from these three Islamic nations,” Shah said.