Indian-American suggests renaming of CAA to Refugee Act


PTI, Feb 12, 2020, 4:23 PM IST

Washington: A prominent Indian-American has suggested renaming the CAA as the Neighbour Persecuted Religious Minority Refugee Act, saying it would establish a right perception difficult to challenge.

The remarks of Khanderao Kand, director of non-profit organisation Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS), came in the wake of widespread protests held across India against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The CAA should have been named as Neighbour Persecuted Religious Minority Refugee Act, Kand said during a panel discussion on the amended citizenship law and abrogation of article 370 in a Virginia suburb of Washington DC on Tuesday.

Branding the CAA as a refugee act would have established a right perception difficult to challenge for its opponent, he said, adding that this name would have been appropriate as it gives citizenship to the refugees and does not take away anyone’s citizenship.

India-born Nissim Reuben, who is an assistant director of the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Asia Pacific Institute, mentioned that India is right on actions but short on building right perception, emphasising on the need of India and Indian diaspora to engage in public awareness campaigns.

Political analyst Sant Gupta, at the event organized by FIIDS – a policy, advocacy and awareness forum for India and Indian diaspora-related issues – said the Indian diaspora needs to be actively engaged in political activism.

India-born policy analyst and a founding member and former president of Indo-American Kashmir Forum Dr Vijay Sazawal said that the constitutional provision, under which Kashmir trifurcation was done, has been used by the Government of India in the past and hence there is a precedent that will stand in any judicial scrutiny.

A Gilgit-Baltistan activist Senge Sering mentioned that India not only has a legitimate right on the region but also should protect the region from being exploited by China under the multi-billion dollars China Pakistan Economic Corridor which is part of its world empire building vision of One Belt One Border initiative.

According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, following religious persecution there will get Indian citizenship.

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