The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is a racist and discriminatory bill passed by the Indian Parliament on 11 December 2019 enacted into law on 12 December 2019. This act amends the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to citizenship for persecuted religious minorities who entered the country prior to 2015 and relaxes the residency requirements for naturalization from 11 to 5 years. Though in principle it appears to be an appealing gesture, in reality this amendment excludes Muslims and persecuted religious minorities from other regions such as Tibet, Sri Lanka and Myanmar; in effect being an exclusionary and discriminatory measure that destroys the secular fabric of the sacred Indian Constitution and defies all universal conventions of equality.
For a country whose formation as a democratic republic in 1947 was grounded in secularism, this amendment stokes widespread fear amongst sections of the society and has been widely criticised by Indians both in India and abroad as discriminating on the basis of religion, in particular for excluding Muslims. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called it “fundamentally discriminatory”, adding that while India’s “goal of protecting persecuted groups is welcome”, this should be accomplished through a non-discriminatory “robust national asylum system”.
This amendment in tandem with the National Register of Citizens declared to be rolled out nationally by the Indian Central Government (despite a rather unsuccessful trial in the state of Assam were families were torn apart after millions of people were declared “illegal” including national war veterans currently placed in detention centres) is widely seen by intellectuals and critics as a means to render Muslim citizens stateless and a step by the RSS-BJP central government in creating a “Hindu” nation.
The Indian Workers Association GB, Sameeksha UK, Chethana, Kranthi and Progressive Workers Association invites all like-minded individuals and students (irrespective of ethnicity, nationality, gender, religion, caste, race or any other form of categorisation) to join hands in this anti-racism protest for raising global awareness against this divisive, racist, illegal and unconstitutional law enacted by the fascist Indian Central Government at 2 pm on 11th January 2020 outside the Consulate General of India in Birmingham, 20 Augusta Street, B18 6JL.