New Delhi: India reached out to countries across the world including neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh to explain its view point on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), saying it is the “internal matter of India”, that it “does not seek to strip anybody of citizenship”, and that it “does not alter the basic structure of the Constitution,” the ministry of external affairs said on Thursday.
The Indian government also conveyed to foreign governments that the CAA provides for “expedited consideration” of citizenship to “persecuted minorities”, adding that it also does not affect existing means of acquiring citizenship available to other communities.
The obvious reference of course was to convey that Muslims from other countries can also be conferred Indian citizenship as per other provisions of law.
In response to a question, the MEA also said India was “not aware” of any Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting designed to specifically discuss the Kashmir issue.
“We did reach out to countries across all the regions. We did write to our missions and posts to tell them to share our perspectives on CAA to the host Government. There are three to four points that we asked the missions to share — that it is a matter internal to India, that the Act just provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted minorities already in India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh... that it does not affect the existing avenues which are available to other communities from seeking citizenship, that it does not seek to strip anybody ... (of citizenship) from any faith, (that) it does not alter the basic structure of the Constitution,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
“We have (also) explained our position to the Bangladesh government,” the MEA spokesperson added.
This was obviously in the context of concerns expressed in certain quarters about whether the CAA controversy would have any adverse fallout on Indo-Bangladesh ties.
Just on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to leaders of most Saarc countries including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The government said it had resorted to a “two-pronged strategy”, of reaching out to foreign ambassadors and high commissioners stationed in Delhi and also to foreign governments directly in their capitals through Indian ambassadors and high commissioners posted in those countries.