Wednesday, January 8, 2020

CAA : How it violates the Indian constitution

CAA: How it violates the Indian constitution

A talk by Arvind Narrain

Wednesday 8 Jan 2020, at 6pm

@ 1.Shanthi Road Studio/ Gallery,
First Floor, Shanthinagar,
Bangalore 560027

About the Talk:

The CAA has to be opposed by all concerned about Indian democracy because it differentially between migrants entitled to Indian citizenship based on religion. If the real interest of the government was for India to open its doors to persecuted persons, then citizenship should not have been grated on the grounds of religion but on the basis of persecution, whether on the grounds of religion, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. That would have showed a genuine interest on the part of the government to see India as a beacon for persecuted groups in our neighbourhood, and not just in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan as the CAA prescribes.

This classification on grounds of religion contradicts the principle of equality in Article 14 and therefore at the foundational values of the republic.

Also, we cannot separate the CAA from the effort to compile a National Register of Citizens, which compels all Indians to prove their citizenship. Those Hindus who cant prove their citizenship and are from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan can potentially become citizens, while Muslims who can’t prove their citizenship will end up in detention camps. The CAA and the NRC together will end up disenfranchising those Muslims who cannot provide the necessary documentation. This discriminatory treatment of India’s largest religious minority also violates constitutional morality.

About the Speaker

Arvind Narrain is a founding member of the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore, India, a collective of lawyers who work on a critical practice of law. He has worked on human rights issues, including mass crimes, communal conflict, LGBT rights and human rights history. He has been a part of many fact-finding reports on sexual minorities in India and was also part of the litigation team, which argued the constitutionality of Section 377 before the High Court and the Supreme Court.

Arvind’s association with advocacy at the international level has involved significant collaborative work at the Human Rights Council and he has seen first-hand, how international and domestic advocacy can be mutually reinforcing, and how international instruments like the Yogyakarta Principles have a role to play in domestic litigation.