The CAA is certainly a small step in the right direction but it needs to be broadened and the government should introduce a new bill for protection and easy return of people of Dharmic community from anywhere in the world
Lately, the government passed the Citizenship Amendments Act (CAA) by which the naturalization of refugees of minority religions viz., Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, who took refuge in India before 2014 due to religious persecution from neighboring countries viz., Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, was expedited .
Why the law
First, it is important to understand why the act is important and justified, which is due to the following reasons.
Founding fathers of independent India like Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, etc., and various contemporary political leaders gave assurances and also appealed in Parliament to provide refuge to persecuted people of the religious minority from Pakistan and Bangladesh [2a][2b]. Therefore, not honoring their promises would be a sign of huge disrespect towards them and their freedom struggle.
b. Liaquat-Nehru pact
The Liaquat-Nehru pact was a bilateral treaty signed between India and Pakistan, under which equality, security, freedom, and equal opportunity were assured to religious minorities along with other provisions like punishing people of communal crimes, returning of looted assets, etc . India, due to its cultural ethos ensured such rights of minorities but no such endeavours were seen in the counterparts despite the formal agreement. The failure to protect such fundamental human rights created this need to bring this action.
India is the world leader in giving refuge to persecuted people like Tibetans, Jews, descendants of Muhammadji, Sri Lankan Tamils, Ugandan Hindus, Parsis, Baha’i etc.
The neighbouring Islamic countries instead of providing equality and security to religious minorities, facilitated the deplorable forceful conversion through killing, raping, kidnapping, torturing and false accusations of blasphemy . The state officially helped this program through various legal systems like recognition of heinous forced nikah of underage girls, blasphemy law and not even recognizing marriages of Hindu till 2017, etc . This created such a toxic atmosphere that the non-Muslims are socially ostracized, treated like animals, considered untouchables and are assigned menial jobs  [7a][7b].
This brutal persecution and exploitation along with destruction and desecration of almost all the Dharmic religious places have led to a massive number of religious minorities to flee and take refuge in India . The same is reflected in census numbers where the share of non-Muslims in Pakistan declined from 25% to 5% whereas, in Bangladesh, it declined from 23.2% in 1951 to 9.6% in 2011 and in Afghanistan, it declined from 7 lacs to just 7000  . Such consequences are unavoidable where bigots and barbarians like Aurangzeb, Ghazni, Ghori, Timur, Abdali, etc., notorious for slaughtering, torturing, enslaving and raping innocent unarmed civilians are celebrated as heroes.
d. Right to return
India is the cradle of Dharmic faiths like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism and is thus a natural motherland and place of origin of Dharmic people. If people of the Dharmic community are persecuted for their beliefs anywhere in the world then the first place they would seek help and refuge in India as it is the place where their identity comes from. Even international law guarantees everyone’s right of voluntary return to or re-enters their country of origin and it is formulated in several modern treaties and conventions, most notably in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1948 Fourth Geneva Convention.
Today, there exists no Dharmic nation where the Dharmic community numbering one and half billion could seek refuge in case of religious persecution. India being the birthplace of Dharmic faiths has civilizational responsibility towards its adherents and should facilitate their dignified return.
All people of undivided India had a role in the independence of the nation. But unfortunately, after the partition of India due to the Muslim League party’s obsession to create an Islamic nation, all the non-Muslims on those parts were left to be persecuted. Non-Muslims in spite of voting against partition were stuck with Pakistan as it was unpragmatic for people on both sides to leave their homes, lands, and businesses and move to unknown lands. Their struggle for independence went in vain as their plight got even worse than what it was in British rule and it would be betrayal with them to not allow them dignified return.
India is the world leader in giving refuge to persecuted people like Tibetans, Jews, descendants of Muhammadji, Sri Lankan Tamils, Ugandan Hindus, Parsis, Baha’i, etc., since ancient times and this step is just the continuation of that great humanitarian tradition. We, due to our cultural values have given refuge to persecuted people of different religions and therefore it becomes even more important to extend it to those who naturally belong here.
After the passage of the act, instead of celebrating this humanitarian move, there has been massive violence where the public properties were damaged, trains and buses were burned, the temple was vandalized, Dharmic symbols were desecrated, stones were pelted on cops, innocent citizens were harassed and students were restricted from taking exams   . Various xenophobic, bigoted, Hinduphobic, communal and seditious slogans like “Hinduon se Azadi”, “Jinnah wali Azadi”, “What is my relation to you; there is no God but Allah”, “Kaafiro Se Azadi” were shouted at different protest sites   . Even the senior member of Congress party expressed his concerns over the communal nature of the protests and he in return received massive backlash like been called a majoritarian bigot for pointing that out   . The Organizer of Shaheen Bagh protest was also found giving seditious speeches by appealing to protestors to cut the northeastern part from the rest of India and inciting protesters based on fake propaganda like people being killed and detained in Assam   . People were incited based on disinformation like blaming policemen of burning buses. The violent and communal nature of the protest was also pointed out by PM and he also appealed for peace . Later the protests took the ugly form of communal riots where the IB official was found barbarously murdered and AAP party councilor Tahir Hussain was booked for alleged involvement in it, who was also caught in videos along with mob attacking people with huge stockpile of petrol bombs, acid packets, stones from the terrace of his house, at the time when the US president visited India to internationalize the whole issue.
Any Dharmic nation in the world will grant complete freedom of conscience and the world will certainly be much better placed instead of such terrorist countries where people are persecuted for not adhering to the non-scientific worldview
The act which was earlier supported by Congress and Left parties are now opposed by them. But after the successful passage of the act in parliament, it was opposed to streets through protests and violence. The objections by them seem to be raised either due to incompetency or mischievousness, as discussed below
The first objection raised is that it is discriminatory and promotes inequality with Indian Muslims. This is nothing but a strawman argument. The principle of equality ensures that two Indian citizens aren’t discriminated against because of differences in beliefs, race, class, etc. as it denies them equal opportunity. But since this act doesn’t apply to any Indian then how could it promote inequality. In other words, how could any Indian claim be a victim and how their right of equal opportunity would be affected by this act. For example, could helping religiously persecuted people like Tibetans in the past be called an attack on pluralistic and egalitarian values of our Constitution? Western countries also provide refuge to persecuted Christians but are never accused of discriminations .
b. Hindu nation
The second argument raised against this act is that it’ll make India Hindu nation. By this, if they’re implying that the rights of Indian Muslims would be undermined if India becomes a Dharmic nation then this argument is also without any merit. The respect for freedom of conscience is the fundamental belief of Dharmic society and that is also the reason that India adopted an egalitarian constitution even when India was partitioned on the basis of religion. Even in the past amid the Islamic invasions where millions of Dharmic people were persecuted for refusing to convert to Islam and their religious places and universities were demolished, still, the regions ruled by Dharmic rulers never seek retribution from their Muslims subjects like in India today and their freedom of conscience was protected.
Any Dharmic nation in the world will naturally grant complete freedom of conscience and the world will certainly be a much better place instead of such terrorist countries where people are persecuted for not adhering to the non-scientific worldview. India is an inclusive nation because of the deep ingrain of such Dharmic values and not because of some document as no document is effective if the ethos of people is not aligned with it.
The third argument raised is that the bill is not inclusive as it doesn’t cover every kind of persecution like on the basis of caste, religion, sexual orientation, etc. This is a weak argument as it implies that you can’t take any good step unless its scope is global. Although we are compassionate towards all the persecuted people and our record also indicates the same but we need to be practical as such steps could only be taken after considering all the aspects especially security and burden on our society.
The fourth argument raised is that the bill is not secular as it doesn’t include Muslims from these countries. However, it is extremely trivial to understand that the act is about providing refuge to the victim community and not to the perpetrators of religious persecution. Also, this act does not apply on Indian citizens where we could discuss the application of secular laws.
e. Victims of Sectarian violence
The fifth argument raised is that the bill doesn’t cover people of minority Islamic sects like Shias, Ahmadis, etc. who are the victim of sectarian violence from these countries. Although India acknowledges and is empathetic towards their sufferings that could not be the basis for opposing this act for several reasons. The first reason is that the bill is regarding the victims who suffered due to the failure of the Liaquat-Nehru pact. Second, such a step would also raise controversy as it will raise the question mark over the basis of the country whose founder was Shia himself and who declared that they don’t want to live with Hindus. The third is the practical aspect of this move as it is beyond India’s capacity to provide refuge to around 4-5 crores non-Sunni Muslims in Pakistan. Regardless, the humanitarian thing India could do in this regard is to help the community raise their issue in the UN and help them to create a separate nation for their safety.
f. Disenfranchising Indian Muslim
The last argument raised is that the bill in combination with NRC will strip the citizenship of Indian citizens. This argument is also without merit for several reasons. First, PM has already given clarification that no decision on the nationwide NRC has been taken so far. Second, no such bill will stand the scrutiny of the judiciary. Third, it has been assured by various political leaders that the citizenship of Indian Muslims will never be affected. Lastly, even amid objections to potential NRC, there is still no basis to oppose this humanitarian act  .
There has also been a failure of the government to promote this humanitarian move as it hasn’t been able to receive as much global applaud as it should have.
It is natural to think that when it is absolutely clear that this act doesn’t even apply to Indian citizens then why it is opposed. It seems that there are various groups who are objecting to achieve their objectives. First natural opposition is from Urban Naxals who are Hinduphobic and anti-nationals and who also had problems when India retaliated after Uri and Pulwama attacks, who supported people who chanted seditious slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge inshallah”, opposed unfurling of national flags, opposed revocation of Article 370, delayed Ayodhya hearing, never raised issue of persecution of Kashmiri Hindus, tried hatching Hindu terrorism conspiracy, planned to project 26/11 attacks as Hindu terror, etc      . The second opposition is from those religious extremists who are against any obstruction to conversion program in neighbouring countries. The third opposition is from Modi’s opponents who want some issue to target the government. Fourth opposition is from those political parties who want to misuse this act to create fear in the mind of the Muslim community through disinformation like by inducing irrational fear of revoking the citizenship of Indian Muslims so that it results in polarization and they remain their vote bank. Fifth opposition is from those ISI proxies in India who want this bill to be relaxed in such a way that it allows easy infiltration of terrorists in India like when they pushed for settlement of Rohingya in India in spite of knowing them to be a security threat  .
The CAA is certainly a small step in the right direction but it needs to be broadened and the government should introduce a new bill for protection and easy return of people of the Dharmic community from anywhere in the world. The government should also raise the issue of religious persecution and violation of Liaquat-Nehru pact in the UN and expose the country for their despicable human rights record and for having nuclear weapons in such hands. It also needs to sign a pact with these countries to allow safe passage of remaining people who want to return.
There is also been a failure of communication by the government to promote this humanitarian move as it hasn’t been able to receive as much global applaud as it should have. The government should have also used this opportunity to expose those fake human rights organizations who work against India and who have hardly ever expressed their concerns over religious persecution in Pakistan, Kashmir, etc.
The security aspect of the expanded refugee program should also be considered to avoid its exploitation like in Europe . There is also the possibility that some people could try to sneak by faking their religion. To prevent this, any subsequent conversion should negate citizenship as the person could have instead converted and stayed in his homeland.
This humanitarian step is greatly delayed which was ought to be taken decades earlier but it is better to be late than never. This is a step towards upholding justice, humanity, promise, and decency. India should have also taken initiative to protect people like Asia Bibi, Rimsha Masih, etc. and give them citizenship. Opposing such a humanitarian step indicates the sign of inhumanity, xenophobia, bigotry, Hinduphobia, and hate.
[2a] Citizenship Act fulfills promise made to minorities in Pakistan – Dec 21, 2019, Times Of India
 Pakistani Christians Burned Alive Were Attacked by 1,200 People: Kin – Nov 6, 2014,NBC News
[7a] ‘Untouchable’ caste identity haunts Pakistani Christians like Asia Bibi – Nov 1, 2018, WWM
 The decline of Afghanistan’s Hindu and Sikh communities – Jan 1, 2017, Aljazeera.com
 Anti-CAA protests in UP: Over 300 people served notices for damage to property – Dec 25, 2019, India times
 Railways worst-hit in Bengal’s anti-CAA protests, but Mamata calls them ‘small incidents’ – Dec 17, 2019, The Print
 Delhi CAA protest: 4 buses torched, 6 cops injured – De 16, 2019, Deccan Herald
 As Anti-CAA Protesters Desecrate ‘Om’ As A Nazi Symbol, Here’s How It’s Actually Islamism That Idealises Hitler – Dec 21, 2019, Swarajyamag
 Jamia protest: Police says stones pelted at them, 6 jawans injured, situation normal now – Dec 15, 2019, India today
 Anti-CAA protests: 8 die as violence grips India; women, children detained in Delhi – Dec 21, 2019, India today
 Attack in JNU campus: ‘Students wanting registration beaten up by those opposing it’ – Jan 06, 2020, The Hindu
 BJP man tweets video with people chanting Jinnah wali azadi – Jan 11, 2020, The Times Of India
 From Devi In Hijab, Om As Nazi Symbol To ‘Kaafiro Se Azadi’: Recent Protests Show Hindutva-Hate Is Hindu-Hate – Jan 08, 2020, Swarajyamag
 Delhi Police books Shaheen Bagh protest organiser Sharjeel Imam for ‘inflammatory speech – Jan 26, 2020, The Print
 Sharjeel Imam: The man who ‘wanted to cut off’ Assam from India – Jan 29, 2020, India Today
 Agitate and cut off chicken’s neck corridor to isolate Assam from India: Sharjeel Imam – Jan 25, 2020, India Today
 Those indulging in arson ‘can be identified by their clothes’: Narendra Modi on anti-CAA protest – Dec 15, 2019, The Economics Times
 Delhi violence: IB staffer Ankit Sharma’s murder could have been pre-planned, probe finds out – Mar 05, 2020, Times now news
 Shocking: Crates Of Stones, Petrol Bombs & Chemicals Found At Tahir Hussain’s FactoryLAW & ORDER – Feb 27, 2020, Republic world
 The inconvenient truth about the Anti-CAA protests – Jan 3, 2020, The Times Of India
 Amit Shah moves Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in RS, says Indian Muslims are and will remain Indians – Dec 11, 2019, The Times of India
 Congress stalled Ayodhya Case, played politics on J&K for 70 years: Shah – Nov 22, 2019, The Economic Times
Congress scares SC judges with impeachment to delay Ayodhya case hearing: PM Modi – Nov 25, 2018, The Economic Times
 PM attacks Congress on Kashmiri Pandits issue, says won’t let Abdullahs, Muftis to divide India – Apr 14, 2019, The New Indian Express
 Congress hatched ‘Hindu terror’ conspiracy to defame religious heritage: PM Modi – May 12, 2019, The Economic Times
 Delhi Police Set Bus On Fire’: Malicious Fake News Busted As Vehicle In Question Found Safe In Depot – Dec 16, 2019, Swarajya
 Rohingyas are national security threat: Government in Supreme Court – Sep 19, 2017, The Economic Times
 Rise of EUROPEAN jihadis: EU admits ISIS is exploiting refugee crisis to infiltrate Europe – Apr 6, 2016, Express
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.