Terming the new citizenship law as “discriminatory”, the Gujarat Roman Catholic Diocese on Monday urged the government to follow the tenets of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one family)’ on which the Constitution of India is based. The church also asked the government to reconsider its stand on the proposed NRC and NPR.
Expressing its concern over the proposed NPR and NRC being implemented along with CAA, the statement of the Gujarat Catholic church said, “We welcome the decision of the Government of India to grant citizenship to the minorites from neighbouring countries like Pakistan Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who are facing religious persecution. However, it is a matter of concern that a particular community has been left out of this decision only because of its religious identity. This goes against the principle of Vasudhaivam Kutumbakam, on which the Constitution is based. The world is one family and therefore, it is not right to separate or single out a community on the basis of its religious belief… The happiness and prosperity of the nation lies in each citizen of India truly being able to enjoy their fundamental rights without any discrimination.”
The church further advises the government to “follow its conscience while dealing with the peaceful protests that are going on against CAA across the country”. “We condemn the use of force or violence by any group to oppress the peaceful protests against CAA and urge the government to take strict actions as laid down by the law against any such group indulging in such violence,” it further states.
Calling the exercise of the implementation of the NRC and NPR as thoughtless and impulsive, the statement also raises questions over the implementation of the proposed NPR. (Representational Image)
“What is the way out for those citizens who will be declared illegal? What about their safety and welfare and employment? If they are sent to the so called detention centres what effect will it have on their esteem and life? We also raise concern over the documents that will be declared mandatory to prove citizenship as well as against those officers who will be empowered to declare many living citizens illegal. The expenditure from the treasury to implement this process is also a concern… It has to be stopped in order to uphold the Constitution of the country and ensure that the citizens live a life of dignity without fear,” the statement added.
The statement is signed by the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gandhinagar Thomas Macwan, Acting Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vadodara Stanislaus Fernandes, Bishop of Ahmedabad Ratnaswami and Bishop of Rajkot Jose Chittooparambil as well as the spokesperson of the Gujarat Catholic church, Father Vinayak Jadav.
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