Categories: Opinion

An open letter to the St. Paul City Council

Open letter to St. Paul City Council from resident of St Paul for rescindment of Resolution 20-712 passed by the city

I write to ask your support in advocating the rescindment of Resolution 20-712 passed by the City of St. Paul City Council. This resolution was introduced as a part of a coordinated national effort by several organizations that use the cause of religious freedom and social equality to push a dangerous Anti-India agenda which is discouraging United States officials from maintaining important foreign and economic relations with India. St. Paul is the third city in the United States to have passed this resolution, after Seattle, WA and Cambridge City, MA. The resolution was introduced to Councillor Jane Prince by the Minnesota chapter of the Council for American and Islamic Relations. The St. Paul City Council has been led to believe one-sided reports maligning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Registry of Citizens (NRC). They declared the Indian government as embodiments of “exclusionary ideology” and directly discriminatory towards “Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous peoples known as Adivasi, and the LGBTQ community”.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, which is now settled law in India, outlines a path to citizenship for persecuted Zoroastrians, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and Hindus from religious minority communities in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. The statutory process grants an applicant Indian citizenship after 11 years. After CAA, persecuted religious minorities from these three countries who arrived in India before 31 December 2014 (meaning they’ve already been in India for a minimum of 5-6 years), will get citizenship after another five years. The National Registry of Citizens is an attempt to identify the legal citizens of India in a comprehensive way for the first time since 1955. This mimics the Social Security system of the United States as well as the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) system in Pakistan. India has an immense population of an estimated 1.38 billion people and a voting population of 900 million.

In the long term, Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and their partners will continue pushing this resolution to more cities across the US, which will further distress Hindu American communities, and incite sharp political division across the US.

Pew Research Center predicts that by 2050, India will have a Muslim population of 311 million, which will make it home to the world’s largest Muslim population. Islam came to India 1300 years ago, and it has been nurtured in India through a number of state policies and schemes. For example, until 2012, Indian Muslims could make a Haj pilgrimage at the government’s expense.

American city council members are largely unfamiliar with the huge complexities within Indian society and did not adequately research or consider the ramifications of their actions when this resolution was passed. As an Overseas Citizen of India and a naturalized citizen of the United States, I am deeply disturbed by the exportation of divisive Indian political issues to the US. These resolutions are clearly motivated by a deeper political agenda because no other resolutions against religious persecution in neighboring South Asian countries have been passed. While the city of St. Paul defames the Indian government, who was elected by the largest democratically voting body in the world, they have remained silent on persecutions of religious minorities, including different Muslim minorities, in any other nation in the world. This is deeply hypocritical as India is one of the few nations that has remained fully democratic and secular since its independence and has enacted a multitude of policies to accommodate and improve the lives of its minority populations.

I’m angry that my community and heritage are being slandered and called islamophobic, when in fact the Indian government has done exceptional work for its Muslim population. The domestic policy issues of CAA and NRC are for the Indian people and government to implement fairly and non-discriminatorily within their own society, and American city councils have no jurisdiction to pass any judgement on them. In the long term, Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and their partners will continue pushing this resolution to more cities across the US, which will further distress Hindu American communities, and incite sharp political division across the US. We are fearful of where this may lead to an already increasing amount of riots due to other political tensions. From there, we know state governments and federal lawmakers will be lobbied by CAIR to end trade relations with India, hurting both Indian and American economies.

This is extremely distressing to those of us from Indian heritage. We request your support at the official level in communicating with these city councils and proceeding with efforts to rescind Resolution 20-712. I am grateful for your time and help in pursuing this issue while it is still at the city council level and in preventing the situation from escalating further. Please see the full text of Res 20-712 attached.

Thank you,
Resident of St Paul

St. Paul City Council Legislation Text by PGurus on Scribd

1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Team PGurus

We are a team of focused individuals with expertise in at least one of the following fields viz. Journalism, Technology, Economics, Politics, Sports & Business. We are factual, accurate and unbiased.

View Comments

  • I completely agree with the open letter as well as the above three commentators in their views.

  • « Those who do not learn from history, repeat history »
    Democratic Party wields power in Minnesota.
    Indian Americans fell (mentally blind) in love so many times, now it is time to wake-up.
    These mentally blind Indian Americans ; euphorically,« I voted for Democartic Party ».
    I guarantee you, said was the stance of 90% Plus of Indian Americans.
    Whom did Indian Americans finance (heavily) for over 25 years ?
    Why ?
    « It is Democratic » was the terse, single syallable answer.
    Such was going-on for over 25 years Plus, 10 years of Bill Clinton, 10 years of Barrack Obama.
    Anti-India USCRIF (within US State Department) is the baby of Bill Clinton (Democratic Party)
    Indians were falling (heels over head) over each other to shake hands with Bill Clinton.
    Fooled once, Fooled Twice, and… ?
    The back-door (Clinton Foundation) to White House was exposed in 2016.
    Hillary Clinton was US Secretary of State.
    For over 15 years Clintons controlled the White House as a private property.
    A personal meeting with Clintons was very expensive, and when the super-rich (individuals, national leaders) saw that Hillary Clinton won’t make it, they stopped paying Clinton Foundation.
    Were Indian Americans sleeping for two generations ?
    Barrack Obama an erudite man, eloquent speaker :
    Like past US Presidents ; he never addressed the US nation at Christmas Time, and on his second state visit to India he showed his real colors. Till that day in India, he always dodged questioned about his Islam. He reminded 1.3 Billion Indians, invaders from Arab, Turkey, Middle East slaughtered you for over 800 years « because you deserved it ».
    He showed no remorse, insulted his host- ‘killed Dharma the second time’ as he wanted More Empowerment for his Caliphate, Ummah.
    The lesser said the better.

  • Are we begging ? Why are we begging ? Why don't we Hindus make a similar charge against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and give statistics of how minority Hindus are persecuted there and have reduced in population drastically and how the muslims have risen to 20% of the population in India threatening a takeover of the country and rename it as Gazwa e Hind ? Is this all we can do ? Beg and plead helplessly to those who wish us dead ? I am ashamed to call myself a Hindu. Where is our Kshatriyatha ? When will we develop a spine and give back in the same coin ? Shameful. Disgusting !

    • Probably busy making money so our kids can go to Yale then tell us how we are not tolerant enough and we should respect others who don't respect us.

      If only we had spent our time teaching them our history and details like the Sikh gurus, how they contributed and died (yes the gory details).

  • A malicious campaign is orchestrated by various interest groups based on disinformation about Indian Govts policy of granting citizenship to minority refugee groups driven away by Islamic countries carved out from India based on religion. It is hard to believe they are ignorant of history of partition of India rather it is a blatant attempt to paint India from a particular prism and create chaos and disharmony between Hindus and Muslims based on disinformation.

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