Skip to main content

Gujarat Catholic Church: CAA, NRC 'contradict' Vasudhaiva Kutumbham, scrap it

Anti-CAA protest in Ahmedabad
Counterview Desk
In a significant move, the Catholic Church of Gujarat, even as “welcoming” the Government of India's attempt to provide “citizenship protection to some refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan” through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has expressed “concern and apprehension” about the CAA’s exclusion of certain religious groups on the basis of religion in conferring citizenship.
“It is unconstitutional to determine citizenship on the basis religion”, asserts the statement, signed by Bishop Athanasius Rathnaswamy of the Diocese of Ahmedabad; Bishop Jose Chittooparambil CMI of the Diocese of Rajkot; Archbishop Stanislaus Fernandes SJ of the Diocese of Baroda; Archbishop Thomas Macwan of the Archdiocese of Gandhinagar; and Fr Vinayak Jadav SJ, spokesperson, Catholic Church, Gujarat.
Insisting that “for the Church ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ is a non-negotiable ideal”, as “any prejudice or discrimination of any group, contradicts the spirit of a ‘world family’ and is contrary to the values ​​of our Constitution”, the statement says, the Church expresses “solidarity with the non-violent protests in the country” against CAA, and the proposed National Register of Citizens and National Population Register (NPR), calling these “an expression of one’s right to freedom of speech and expression”.

Text:

The Indian Catholic community, as proud citizens, are deeply committed towards the building of a nation based on justice and equity. The Catholic Church regards it a duty to stand with the country at every difficult moment. Mother India, has for centuries, been nurturing every single citizen, without any discrimination based on caste, religion, language or region.  The Indian dictum of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ ("the world is one family") has resonated all over the world from our shores. Being the cradle of different religions and cultures, India has given the world the ideal of ‘unity in diversity’.
As loyal citizens of India, the Catholic community of Gujarat is committed to safeguarding the Constitution of the country and in ensuring that all communities living in the country, enjoy happiness, prosperity and human rights without discrimination.
There has been widespread protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) ever since it was passed by Parliament, about one and a half months ago; the Catholic Church of Gujarat, convinced that standing up for the truth is their religion, would like to clearly state their position on the issue.
The Church welcomes the Government's attempt to provide citizenship protection to some refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan through the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA); however, it would like to express concern and apprehension about the exclusion of any particular group on the basis of religion, in the conferring of citizenship.
It is unconstitutional, to determine citizenship on the basis religion. For the Church, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, is a non-negotiable ideal. In this ideal, any prejudice or discrimination of any group, contradicts the spirit of a ‘world family’ and is contrary to the values ​​of our Constitution.
We take note of laxity and negligence by administration and police in acting against those violently trying to disrupt peaceful protests
The proposed provisions also raise serious apprehensions about the benefits to the country, against the huge expenditure incurred through the implementation of CAA, the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR). There are also questions about the safety, security of the ‘illegal’ immigrants; above all, the dignity and living conditions to those already confined (or may be confined) in detention centres. 
We are in solidarity with the non-violent protests in the country, for justice, as an expression of one’s right to freedom of speech and expression. We urge the following of one’s conscience, in joining any peaceful protest. At the same time, we condemn any attempt to silence dissent and to suppress non-violent protests. We take note of the laxity and negligence by the administration and the police in acting against those who violently try to disrupt peaceful protests. 
There are certainly several unanswered questions with regard to the NRC and NPR: for example, the availability of the stipulated document to prove one’s citizenship; we also have serious doubts about the competency and the qualification of those responsible for determining the citizenship of another.
We consider it thoughtless and hasty to proceed with the implementation of the CAA, NPR and NRC without adequate reflection on the remedies and solutions of these issues related to human rights and human dignity, as well as national peace and unity; and without adequate consultation with the people of India
We humbly urge the Government, to immediately stay this Act and the associated procedures, until adequate thought is given to all human aspects related to it, so that the good of the entire human community residing in India is ensured and that India emerges in the world community as an exemplary nation, for its adherence to the Constitution and the protection of human rights!
May God our Father protect our beloved India!
Jai Bharat!

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”