Centre’s CAA Move Welcomed by US-Based Advocacy Group as “Big Win For Persecuted Minorities”

The group emphasized that the regulations would have no impact on current Indian citizens, regardless of their religion. Additionally, it would expedite the Indian naturalization procedure for religious minorities who have sought refuge from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

The new notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India has received a warm welcome from the Coalition of Hindus of North America (CoHNA), a US-based advocacy group. According to the CoHNA, this decision is a major victory for religious minorities who have faced persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The group emphasized that the new rules would not impact existing Indian citizens of any faith, but would expedite the citizenship process for religious minorities who have fled from these countries. The CoHNA highlighted the extreme and systemic persecution faced by religious minorities in these countries, such as the kidnapping and forced conversion of minor girls. It also mentioned that it had conducted an education and advocacy campaign in 2020 to counter the misinformation surrounding the CAA. The Ministry of Home Affairs has notified the rules under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, enabling eligible individuals to apply for Indian citizenship. The applications will be submitted online through a designated web portal. The CAA aims to provide Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants who arrived in India before December 31, 2014, from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Since its passage, the CAA has sparked protests across the country. The implementation of the CAA requires the formulation of associated rules, which have now been finalized. The CoHNA views this implementation as a major electoral agenda item for the BJP, contributing to its rise in West Bengal. Over the past two years, several district magistrates and home secretaries have been authorized to confer Indian citizenship to minorities arriving from these three countries. Between April 2021 and December 2021, a total of 1,414 individuals from non-Muslim minority communities were granted Indian citizenship under the Citizenship Act, 1955. This citizenship is granted in nine states across India.