Most important characteristic of India is its plurality: MJ Akbar defends CAA at UN

GENEVA: The controversial
Citizenship Amendment Act (
CAA) and the situation of Muslims in India was discussed in detail by Parliamentarians from India and Europe on the side-lines of Human Rights Council in United Nations, Geneva.

Veteran Journalist and Member of Parliament
MJ Akbar argued that the most important characteristic of India is its plurality and the Constitution gives equal rights to everyone irrespective of religion.

Akbar added that Muslims (in India) are as much part of the country as any other citizen from any other religion.

The MP also took a dig at Congress leader Shashi Tharoor. “Sometimes when you are in opposition you tend to make rhetorical points and Tharoor is far away from reality,” Akbar said.

Akbar concluded his words with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “Hindus and Muslims are one. God created them and no one can separate them”.

Defending the Act, Fulvio Martusciello, a member of European Parliament, clarified that with this act, several rights including electoral and educational will be given to the innocent people who have been facing religious persecution in their native country.

Ahmed Ilyasi, the Chief Imam of India, who is the first Indian Muslim to come in support of CAA, drew the attention of the Muslim community in India stating that “India has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world and the country is committed to providing equal citizenship for everyone. “India is a secular democracy,” he said.

Ilyasi also lashed out at Pakistan, asking it refrain from interfering in India’s internal matters.

“Muslims in India are safer than they can be anywhere else in the world,” Ilyasi said.

He explained that if any Muslim wants, he or she can still apply for citizenship satisfying the provisions of the Citizenship Act of 1955.

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