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“CAA has no provision to take away the citizenship of current citizens of India by any means,” Atika Farooqui was busy concluding her address at a panel discussion at United Nations on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act at Geneva on February 28th.

As Atika was delivering her speech more than 300 Muslims who live in the north-east Delhi were rendered homeless, and several others were killed on the street, all thanks to a pre-planned pogrom organized by a Hindu mob orchestrated by the state.

In the wake of growing criticisms and demonstrations against the Citizenship Amendment Act, the 43rd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva called for a panel discussion to address the matter.

Representing India was journalist Atika Farooqui, Rajya Sabha MP MJ Akbar, and the Chief Imam of India Umer Ahmed Ilyasi.

Not uttering a word about the insecurity that the amendment has brought about MJ Akbar said that plurality is the defining feature of India and that constitution gives equal rights to citizens.

Akbar who also thinks Muslims are as much a part of India also took a dig at  Congress MP Shashi Tharoor and said that “sometimes when you are in opposition you tend to make rhetorical points and Tharoor is far away from reality”.

“India has the second-largest number of Muslims in the world and it is providing equal citizenship for everyone, India is a secular democracy,” said Imam Umer Ilyasi who was one of the first Muslim religious leaders to support CAA.

Atika Farooqui started her speech that neither she nor the Indians do not see the caste, gender, religion, or race when looking at someone. The religion in India according to Farooqui is considered a culture that makes the country colorful with food habits, languages, and dances.

It seems that the journalist forgot that with CAA, religion was made a test of Indian citizenship for the first time.

The panelist also did not throw light on the demonstrations happening in Delhi, or brutal suppression of protests. They also did not utter a word about NPR or NRC which coupled with CAA can lead to the marginalization of India’s Muslims, who form nearly 15 percent of the country’s 1.3 billion population.

Meanwhile, the UN human rights chief expressed “great concern” over CAA and police complicity in violence in Delhi and urged the political leaders to prevent violence.

The Member of European Parliament Fulvio Martusciello, Brian Toll who is the former Director of the European Commission and the South Asia Expert and the Executive Director of South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF) Paulo Casaca were also part of this discussion.


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