Loomio
Fri 20 Dec 2019

Public concerns on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC)

B
Bady Public Seen by 160

What follows below is a compilation of concerns both for and against CAA & NRC from different people with different opinions. For Indian Pirates, before making a public statement on these issues, it's important to answer these first.

On granting citizenship based on religions from selected countries:

Against: Only Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities from the neighboring Muslim majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are considered while Muslims are avoided. This is against secularism, Article 14 and the spirit of the Indian Constitution because it discriminates people based on religion.

For: This is not against Article 14 because it permits classification, so long as it is 'reasonable' and the reason here's the protection of persecuted minorities of the neighboring theocratic states based on historical reasons. If it was non-secular and against Indian Constitution then Supreme Court would have issued a stay, but it didn't.

On the government's intent to protect the persecuted minorities:

Against: If protection of persecuted minorities was the actual intent, then the refugees consisting of Rohingyan muslims of Myanmar, Ahmadiyya muslims of Pakistan, Tamil Elams of Sri Lanks and Atheists are all persecuted minorities and should have covered under CAA but they aren't.

For: Rohingyans and Tamil people of Sri Lanka have found to be associated with extremist armed forces and are hence dangerous to be included in CAA. (Haven't heard proper arguments justifying why Ahmadiyya's and Atheist's are excluded, comment if you've came across of any).

On the protests against CAA and NRC:

Against: NRC in Assam should be considered as a special case based on historical reasons, it doesn't mean that Nation-wide NRC will be same as the way it is proposed in Assam. Current protests are led by extremist islamic groups to show their strength using violence, either directly or by indirectly influencing a larger group of people via propagation of unnecessary FUD.

For: Protests are led by people from different backgrounds and beliefs, including students, to protect the values of Indian Constitution such as equality, secularism and prohibition of discrimination.

A

Akshay Sat 21 Dec 2019

I think a rational analysis is an overkill as the government doesn't work on rationality anymore. For example, in the FAQ purported to be from government they say that NRC is "merely" a "normal" process of adding name to a register. And these are "reasons" enough for many people to say the government is doing right.

The point I try to make is that logic is not the basis of the debate/protest.

The basis of the debate/protest is that the current government's ideology is to have a Hindu nation and everything that they are doing is playing in line with that. (Whereas the India we love is a secular nation).

B

Bady Mon 6 Jan

quoting a relevant question and its answer by Pratik Sinha, Co-founder of Alt News, from his AMA thread on reddit:

Q) What do you see as AltNews biggest threat today? How can the average Indian help you combat this?

A) I am not sure about threats, but I can speak about challenges. I see the following as the biggest challenges:

  1. No political will to address the issue of misinfo/disinfo as the political parties themselves are indulging in the same. What is needed now is large scale literacy programs across the country so that people can be taught how to deal with the issue.

  2. Social media companies can do much more, but are not willing to.

  3. Mainstream media isn't doing enough in terms of disbursement of fact-checks.

while rational approach based on facts and figures may seem useless in the era of post-truth politics, the above points show why it's a need of the day. we may not be able to wake up those who pretend to be sleeping, but that need not be an excuse for not reaching out to the half-informed, misinformed and fence sitters.

P

piratekp Sat 21 Dec 2019

What would be our stand on demographic changes due to migration?

Indian constitution afaik doesn't restrict movement and such through article 19.

MJS

michael john sinclair. Sat 21 Dec 2019

If the Hindus keep pushing there cause they will recieve the opposite in the future, they have their hype phase atm but for how long? China is also putting Muslims in Camps,

Nationalisum will be the last stand before Globalisium. At a Global scale hindus are a minority against muslims so this will repeated at global level when we get that far peacefully.

Could it be possible that India is going down this road because China is doing the same and getting away with it?

PP

Pirate Praveen Fri 27 Dec 2019

We will be meeting in Thalassery this Sunday evening to work on some CAA/NRC/NPR materials (FAQ, statement urging people to boycott, states to stop NPR etc, and pamphlet). Those who cannot come can join us online.

PP

Pirate Praveen started a check Fri 27 Dec 2019

Would you be able to join us on Sunday 29th Dec at Thalassery? Closed Sun 29 Dec 2019

We will be meeting in Thalassery this Sunday evening to work on some CAA/NRC/NPR materials (FAQ, statement urging people to boycott, states to stop NPR etc, and pamphlet). You can join online or meet at other places if you can't make it to Thalassery.

4 - Yes
2 - No
PP

Pirate Praveen
Yes
Fri 27 Dec 2019

SA

Shameel Abdulla
Yes
Fri 27 Dec 2019

KSK

Kiran S Kunjumon
No
Sat 28 Dec 2019

J

joice
No
Sat 28 Dec 2019

B

Bady
Yes
Sun 29 Dec 2019

KVM

Kannan V M
Yes
Sun 29 Dec 2019

PP

Pirate Praveen Sat 28 Dec 2019

We can use https://pad.disroot.org/p/NoCAANoNRCNoNPR for drafting these documents.

SV

Sai Vishal Mon 30 Dec 2019

Hi everyone

This was one of the Better FAQ that I have come across. Please do let me know your thoughts.

SV

Sai Vishal Mon 30 Dec 2019

We should also remove the word persecuted from any further CAB disscusion as the Bill doesn't mention persecution.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 31 Dec 2019

Relevant part from FAQ

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 31 Dec 2019

This talk by Kannan Gopinathan is powerful https://invidio.us/watch?v=DBiIhhKk3_8 we should include a link to this talk in our statement.

PP

Pirate Praveen Sat 4 Jan

@Kannan V M shared this draft statement in our matrix group https://pad.disroot.org/p/caastatement please review it and suggest changes. You can review on the link given earlier as that has options to highlight parts of the statement and comment on it.


We, Indian Pirates, believe every human being has equal dignity and rights. We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the right to life, liberty and security of person.

In India, Citizenship allows a person to be part of its democratic framework and enables them to enjoy civil rights guaranteed by constitution for Citizens of India. Being able to take part in the system that designs the laws of the society we belong to is the most essential of them. Thus Citizenship is an important identity for a person to enjoy their most fundamental right, domestic and international, with respect to the country a person reside.

Citizenship is a privilege and it provides special benefits for those who enjoy it. However, this privilege is susceptible for exploitation. It is necessary to put reasonable restrictions on granting citizenship to safeguard from these exploitation.

It is our responsibility to make definitions for what should be a reasonable restriction, which should be a balance between human rights and our nation's interests.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, as it is enacted, can not considered to be in accordance with either  Human Rights or Nation's Interests. We believe this is an attempt to convert a human rights issue into a religious issue, in order to induce a dual standard in the rule of law based on religion.

We understand the act itself is in contradiction with article 14 of the constitution which promises equality before law and it challenges the basic features of constitution, equality and secularism. We recognize the ill effects of this act can create a scar on our fraternity. With above said reasons, we believe the act is unconstitutional and Indian Pirates rejects the Citizenship Amendment Act 2016.

As an alternative to this act, Indian pirate suggests to form a definition for refugee in accordance to UNHCR and to derive a impartial legislation to relax the process for citizenship for refugees.

A NRC with the backing of CAA, as defined by the Home minister of Union government, will be discriminatory and will change the demographics of our country. We believe such a NRC is not in line with principles put forward by our constitution and we urge the people of India to not to coorporate with the attempts to impliment such a citizenship register.

We believe the undergoing NPR can be used to create NRC and we urge the people of India to not to coorporate with data collection for NPR. We congradulate those states which announced indefinite halt on NPR.   

We recognize and condemn BJP's attempts to divide the nation in the name of religion and spreading messages of hatred. We condemn  Prime Minister of India for misleading the people of India and we urge Union government to answer the queries of the people about CAA,NRC and NPR through a credible source.

We condemn the attempts to silence the voice of people of India by imposing 144, travel restrictions and through internet shutdowns. We believe this is an attack on rights promised by Article 19 of Constitution of India. Internet is a basic necessity which is needed for the proper functioning of a society; depriving of access to internet is not only violation the right to expression, but also is against right to life and liberty.

We condemn the excessive and disproportionate use of violence by police. We observe police itself is breaking the law and protocols to incite violence on people.[ We condemn the unlawful activities by the police and ask for a special investigation on the atraocities by police.] We condemn the unlawful detentions and the restriction of lawful rights for the detainees.

A detention center for those who are not listed in NRC with presence of CAA would be a Muslim detention center, this is grim reminder of what nai germani did to Jews. We believe detention centers are a violation to human rights

We, Indian Pirates observe this citizenship register as an effort by BJP and RSS to convert Republic of India into a fascist hindutva rashra. This act is not an issue related to some minority religions of India, but an open attack on the constitutional values that protects our rights. We believe defending our constitution and its principles are our duty. We, Indian Pirates urge the people of India to occupy the streets to show your protest and take part in politics and elections in order to protect our constitution.

B

Bady Wed 8 Jan

hi all, the etherpad doc has changed since the above version was posted here. are we waiting for anything more to be discussed? is there any part that needs further clarification/modification? if not, we can move forward with next steps for publishing the statement.

PP

Pirate Praveen Wed 8 Jan

Did we respond to all the comments there?

B

Bady Wed 8 Jan

it'll be better if those who raised the issues verify it themselves whether they have been resolved and reply with proper comments as there's no way to mark as resolved in etherpad.

PP

Pirate Praveen Wed 8 Jan

at least for us, we need to confirm if we addressed all issues.

PP

Pirate Praveen Wed 8 Jan

How about we have a scheduled online meeting and finalize it?

KVM

Kannan V M Mon 13 Jan

may be tonight?

PP

Pirate Praveen Mon 13 Jan

Works for me. How about 8 pm? May be keep another slot for tomorrow in case someone miss today's slot (as it is a short notice). Can you open a poll and share in matrix group?

KVM

Kannan V M Mon 13 Jan

yes, i too like to suggest some changes

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

should we continue the discussion here? @Pirate Praveen @Bady

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

yes, lets take points one by one.

KVM

Kannan V M started a check Mon 13 Jan

Who all will be participating in an online discussion to finalize Indian Pirate's statement on CAA and NRC, on January 14th at 8pm. Closed Tue 14 Jan

https://www.loomio.org/d/RkKUMr0v has the original discussion in it.

https://www.loomio.org/d/RkKUMr0v/public-concerns-on-citizenship-amendment-act-caa-and-national-register-of-citizens-nrc-/19 is a draft for statement

You can also find an pad for collaborative editing at https://pad.disroot.org/p/caastatement

0 - No
3 - Yes
KVM

Kannan V M
Yes
Mon 13 Jan

PP

Pirate Praveen
Yes
Mon 13 Jan

We will be meeting at our matrix/irc group

B

Bady
Yes
Mon 13 Jan

MJS

michael john sinclair. Mon 13 Jan

Rewritten parts but change know content apart from Internationally or Nationally.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

kp ( @piratekp I guess) on etherpad suggested this for first paragraph:

IMO, it would be nice to start with defining identity and explicitly saying one's religion is not what defines a person. And that means this entire focus on religion itself is absurd.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Identity%28socialscience%29 could give us a hint

B

Bady Tue 14 Jan

but it'll need to be worded carefully or it can lead to strawman counter-arguments.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

Probably we could quote some one (got this idea from https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/03/02/amelie-rorty-the-identities-of-persons/)

B

Bady Tue 14 Jan

it seems defining identity is not an easy task. once we define it, we'll then need to explain how one's identity is associated with citizenship. even then, i don't think it'll be enough to counter the arguments regarding our country's so-called responsibility to help the religiously persecuted refugees based on historical reasons. instead, it'll be better to acknowledge the facts regarding religious persecutions, but recommend against using religion as a factor for granting citizenship as it's against the secular nature of our country. we could still fulfill our responsibility by considering this as a human rights issue rather than limiting our responsibility to just religious issues.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

How about this "Our identity is made up of one or more layers of religion, ethnic background, cultural belief, values, beliefs, occupation, hobbies, physical attributes but it doesn’t define your sole identity as a person"?

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

It is more like an introduction to the topic. To give people reading this something to relate to. The serious arguments are coming after this any way.

B

Bady Tue 14 Jan

while the above definition looks good, how we're going to connect it with citizenship? in case of 'jus sanguinis' (citizenship by descent), our identity becomes a determining factor for citizenship because it's dependent on who our parents are. but in case of immigrants, this is not the case. so how does defining identity helps here?

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

placing such an argument at the introduction may lead to straw-man as suggested by @Bady. i doubt need to explicitly state the obvious which is not asked. the act does not talk about "what defines a person" nor say people belonging to a specific religion have specific traits. the phobias people have based on religion is an issue that has to be addressed separately.

but i do suggest to elaborate the concept of secularism in the following paragraphs, which can i believe include the above topic.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

may be i misinterpreted kp's statement, correct me if i did.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

I think he meant this: CAA specifically mention religions so we should clearly state a religion is not the sole identity of a person. @piratekp agreed to articualate his concerns on matrix. Lets wait for that.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

kp clarified it on the pad:

India for centuries have been always welcomed the persecuted, regardless of their religion. That has been our tradition. In this matter, we have remained a nation of righteousness. When a person seeks Indian citizenship, that is an act by his choice. And this step towards a better life should never go through a sieve based on religion. As religion is not what defines this human being. A person's identity is many things, but not restricted to his religion. And for many religion is not a part of their Identity. May be this communal raj can only see a person through the lens of religion. But that is not how an emphathetic Indian would and have. CAA/NRC discriminates based on religion and place of birth. Both of these factors are not by the person's choice. The current govt has incessantly tried to diminish(maybe a better word here) one's identity to his/her religion.

I think we can add whole of this to the first paragraph (his replaced by their). emphathetic -> empathetic. diminish -> reduce ?

P

piratekp Tue 14 Jan

India for centuries has always welcomed the persecuted, regardless of their religion. That has been our tradition. In this matter, we have remained a nation of righteousness.
When a person seeks Indian citizenship, that is an act by his choice. And this step towards a better life should never go through a sieve based on religion. As religion is not what defines this human being. A person's identity is many things, but not restricted to his religion. And for many religion is not a part of their Identity. Maybe this communal raj can only see a person through the lens of religion. But that is not how an empathetic Indian would.
CAA/NRC discriminates based on religion and place of birth. Both of these factors are not by a person's choice. The current govt has incessantly tried to diminish(maybe a better word here) one's identity to his/her religion.

work on this?

B

Bady Tue 14 Jan

yes (with the suggested replacements). nicely put btw 👍

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

I am reposting what i have said in the matrix group,

I would like to make few amendments to the statement

1.) illegal migrants should be replaced undocumented residents as illegal migrants may not be correct in all cases

B

Bady Tue 14 Jan

i agree

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

agreed

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

Add that Pirates agree that their is no such thing as an Illegal Migrants or Refugees? Undocumented Residents is trickey because most Undocumented Migrants/ Refugees Have no residence.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

by using residents, i meant those who reside in India, also not all of the excluded are migrants. some are usual residents of India without documentation. since we have no method which can logically differentiate them, we have to call all of them undocumented residents of India.

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

We will have to explain the difference between Migrants and Refugees they have a completly different status by Law?

I am not familiar with Laws of India but we said earlier that we agree with International Laws/ Agreements.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

As far as i have researched, India doesnt have a general policy for refugees. Every undocumented person is an illegal migrant by default, as the burden of proof is on the person.

PP

Pirate Praveen Tue 14 Jan

did you mean illegal immigrant? migrant usually means movement within the country.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

illegal migrant is how it is used in the bill.

"Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act;".

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

If they are a member of the united Nations they do have agreements and internal laws at national level to abide by.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

there are different treaties and in case of UNHCR, india has not signed. and some rights from UDHR is incorporated to our constitution. But something mandated by UDHR doesn't mean it will be followed by India, as the government responded, "its an internal affair"

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

Hmm, How have former Goverments reacted ?

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

i dont have track of the previous governments, but i think this issue is specific to this government as CAA was brought by this governments

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

Undocumented Indian people ^^ Undocumented Migrants/ Refugees.

KVM

Kannan V M Tue 14 Jan

@michael john sinclair. you could reply to a comment than start a new one. it would be more linear if you do that.

MJS

michael john sinclair. Tue 14 Jan

As of 2012, India is the world's largest arms importer; between 2007 and 2011, it accounted for 10% of funds spent on international arms purchases.[273] Much of the military expenditure was focused on defence against Pakistan and countering growing Chinese influence in the Indian Ocean.[271] In May 2017, the Indian Space Research Organisation launched the South Asia Satellite, a gift from India to its neighbouring SAARC countries.[274] In October 2018, India signed a US$5.43 billion (over Rs 400 billion) agreement with Russia to procure four S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile defence systems, Russia's most advanced long-range missile defence system.[275]


Thats heavy.