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

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.