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OPINION | Mr Nadella, It is Sad You Fell Prey to the Misinformation Campaign on CAA

The Citizenship Act of India still allows anyone from anywhere in the world to apply for citizenship. There are separate clauses for naturalisation which have been untouched and remain in force.

Anand Narasimhan | CNN-News18

Updated:January 14, 2020, 2:51 PM IST
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OPINION | Mr Nadella, It is Sad You Fell Prey to the Misinformation Campaign on CAA
Samri, 12, is a refugee from Pakistan and wants to become a top police officer in India.

Yes, Mr Nadella, what is happening around CAA is indeed ‘Sad’! So sad that educated, literate, aware people have fallen prey to a campaign of misinformation. Key influencers haven’t taken the time to fully understand the depth and impact of this Amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955.

Let me at the outset explain to you that the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 aims only to speed up a process of naturalisation of those refugees who have sought citizenship in India on the grounds of ‘religious persecution’. These are people who are officially in the records as those who do not want to go back.

They are families who have spent close to a decade already on Indian soil but do not have a valid identity to get jobs or have the right to even commute outside the district where they currently reside. They want to be Indian but do not have Indian Citizenship yet. So for them to create ‘Unicorns’ they need to be ‘legally Indian’ first to be able to Start Up ‘legally’ in India. Aren’t you ‘Legally American’?

This Act speeds up the process of naturalisation only for those who had to flee Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh on the grounds of ‘religious persecution’. Kindly train your spotlight on Pakistan where non-Muslims are hired only to do menial jobs in the Army. Kindly ask why a Bangladeshi Hindu or a Pakistani non-Muslim hasn’t ever occupied a high office across any spectrum in these countries in the last many decades?

Why the rate of growth of minorities in India is positive since Partition while it is depleted drastically in the other nations that were formed post Partition? This even as all entities agreed to be ‘inclusive’ as a nation but soon adopted state religions.

Yes, India has a right to protect its borders, take steps in the interest of national security. We welcome one and all but from the front door, not via the back door.

India wants Samri (picture attached), a 12-year-old from Pakistan to realise her dreams of becoming a top police officer in India. This country wants ‘Nagrikta’ (named after the Act) to grow up and become a national icon in whatever sphere she chooses. We want them to succeed and make India proud but for that they need to become Indian citizens legally first.

The CAA 2019 aims to do just that. Would you to want to run a country with more than 30 million estimated Illegals? (The NRC will help verify this number).

Most of these people have entered India for economic reasons. They are robbing citizens of this country. If America, a nation richer and economically ahead of India can move to ‘protect’ itself from ‘illegals’, shouldn’t India with a 1.3 billion population not endeavour to put safeguards for its citizens in place? Wouldn’t you work to protect the nation’s citizens and in the process also naturalise those who legally want to make India their home?

Let me again inform that the Citizenship Act of India allows anyone from anywhere in the world to apply for citizenship. There are separate clauses for naturalisation which have been untouched and remain in force. India in the last six years has given citizenship to approximately 2830 Pakistani, 912 Afghani and 172 Bangladeshi people. Hundreds of them are from the majority community of these three countries. Around 14,864 Bangladeshi nationals were also granted Indian citizenship after incorporating more than 50 enclaves of Bangladesh into India in 2014.

Moreover, all the people who will be naturalised under the CAA 2019 were already in India on or before 2015. Everyone after that has to go through the other legal processes laid down. The most important aspect is that those who desire to reside, work, study in India have to do so ‘legally’. I believe that an organisation which has claimed to be a victim of ‘pirated’ (illegal) versions will understand how serious the problem of ‘illegal’ is. India is proud that many of the migrants post partition who made her their home have gone to bring laurels for the country. They have done her proud across spectrum.

One of them is currently a chief minister of a state, another a former prime minister. The list is long. As for the future, we are secure. Maybe there are still a few bugs that need to be fixed. You at Microsoft will be well informed on bug issues… happy to help out more in person or on email. Or maybe Mr Nadella, you should just ‘Google’ it.

The author is an executive editor at Network 18. Views expressed are personal.

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