Statement from Indian recipients of the Magsaysay Award
We, the Indian recipients of the Magsaysay Award, would like to express our deep sense of concern and anguish at the passing into Law, of the Citizenship Amendment Bill – and the linkage of the same with the National Register of Citizens. Both of these are clearly discriminatory and violative of all the guarantees of right to equality before law assured to all persons in the Indian Constitution.
In its present form and intent, the Citizenship Amendment Act, together with the proposed NRC all over India, appears to single out one community – namely the Muslims.
The act in its present form links religion with the question of citizenship for the first time in our plural, secular democracy, and is clearly divisive and therefore unacceptable. The outbreak of public protest and widespread demonstrations – some of them violent, does not augur well. The CAA and the NRC together have fanned the fires of earlier insecurities in Assam, the North East to entire India now – and there is indefinite curfew and also shutting down of internet services in many states of the North East and elsewhere. Students in their thousands are out on the streets – from all accounts with no political party affiliations or pressure.
As responsible citizens we urge the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to kindly review the situation in all seriousness and protect the interests of peace, harmony and the well being of the people of India as well as those desiring to live in this country without any discrimination according to time honoured tradition of India which was mentioned by Swami Vivekanand in his famous speech at Chicago.
We do not understand the need for introducing either CAA or NRC at this point in time, when there are several other urgent issues on hand.
Admiral (retired) Laxminarayan Ramdas
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