The head of the jesuit mission in Goa, Fr Roland Coelho, issued a statement on Thursday, calling for opposition to the new citizenship law and warning that it could be abused in Goa. In his one-page statement, he has asked Goans “not to remain silent”.
“The government has not satisfactorily explained why Muslims and Jews have been left out of the CAA. Was this an arbitrary decision? Did the government pass the CAA on the basis of data or because of the RSS agenda of Hindu Rashtra? Let the Supreme Court decide,” Coelho has questioned.
“The CAA-NRC can be abused in Goa. Goa has fostered peaceful and harmonious existence between people of different faiths. Tourists often visit Goa because of the friendliness of people here and the pluralistic fabric of this state that makes people feel at ease with one another. This will change,” the statement read.
Coelho is the Provincial of the Goa region of the Society of Jesus. He holds the charge of the Jesuit Catholic order. “On the face of it, the CAA looks like a mild amendment. Combine it with the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and it has ominous overtones. The Assam NRC exercise is a case in point where 1.9 million people were unable to provide adequate documentation that the government required,” his statement reads.
“A majority of these are Bengali Hindus. Due to the CAA, these Bengali Hindus can get Indian citizenship if they entered our country before December 31, 2014. Not so for the Muslims who also fled persecution in Bangladesh; they are at risk of being labelled ‘illegal immigrants’ and being shunted to detention centres in Assam,” he adds.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines