Washington: An American city council which houses some of the top universities of the world, including Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has passed a resolution calling on the Indian Parliament to repeal the recently enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and end the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The new citizenship law passed by the Indian Parliament in December 2019 offers citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The Cambridge City Council. Image courtesy: Facebook
The Cambridge City Council, which is part of the Greater Boston, in its unanimous resolution urged India to take steps towards helping refugees by ratifying various United Nations treaties on refugees.
The Indian government has maintained that the CAA, which was passed by the Indian Parliament in December, is an internal matter of the country and stressed that the goal is to protect the oppressed minorities of neighbouring countries. The NRC exercise was conducted in Assam on the directions of the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his government has never discussed the NRC since coming to power for the first time in 2014 and it was done only in Assam.
Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, who migrated to the United States from Karachi, Pakistan at the age of two, chaired the meeting of the Cambridge City Council on Monday. Currently serving her second term on the Cambridge City Council, and first as Mayor of Cambridge, Siddiqui was one of the co-sponsor of the resolutions along with Councilors Quinton Zondervan, Jivan Sobrinho-Wheeler and Patricia Nolan.
The resolution, coming after a series of anti-CAA demonstrations in Cambridge by Indian Americans, Indian students community and those from South Asia, accuses the Modi government of being having “racist policies” which are inconsistent with Cambridge’s values as a city that welcomes South Asian communities of all castes and religions. It alleges that “a nationwide expansion of this policy could strip hundreds of millions of people of their citizenship rights with no option to be re-naturalized.”
Cambridge City Council in its resolution described the Howdy Modi event last year as a solidarity event of far-right politicians. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump addressed a historic gathering of more than 50,000 Indian Americans in Houston in September.