New York’s capital 3rd US city to officially oppose CAA


indica News Bureau-

Albany, N.Y., the state’s capital, has become the third U.S. city to take action to officially oppose the Indian government’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act that has drawn international condemnations alleging anti-Muslim bias, according to published reports.

The Albany City Council resolution, passed unanimously on March 2 and signed by the city’s mayor,  expresses solidarity with the local South Asian community and calls on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government to repeal CAA and stop plans for a national citizenship registry, published reports said.

“A good friend tells a friend when they’re acting badly,” Councilman Alfredo Balarin, the resolution’s sponsor, said. “India has been a longtime friend to the United States, but it’s important that we tell them publicly when they’re acting against the values we stand for as a nation. What’s happening in India is not acceptable, and we can’t turn a blind eye.”

Modeled after measures adopted last month in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Seattle, Washington, Albany’s declaration comes as anti-Muslim violence continues amid rising tensions as Modi’s administration Modi faces protests over Hindu nationalist policies, according to published reports.

“The Modi regime’s repressive and racist policies are inconsistent with Albany’s values as a city that welcomes South Asian communities of all castes and religions,” the resolution stated. ” … the Common Council urges our congressional delegation to support legislation censuring the Republic of India for adopting these policies.”

CAA allows fast-track citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from neighboring countries, and Modi’s government has plans for a national registry of citizens that will require Indians to provide documentation of citizenship. The state of Assam already has the registry and nearly 2 million individuals have been excluded from citizenship there, according to reports.

Guwahati: Student activists of All Assam Students Union ( AASU) led by its advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya, participate in AASU’s three-day ‘Satyagraha’ protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, in Guwahati on Dec 16, 2019. T (Photo: IANS)

The far-right Indian government’s CAA and NRC brought millions of Indians to the street in historic and largely peaceful protests, according to reports. But violence began late last month between Hindus and Muslims after a member Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), India’s Hindu nationalist ruling party, threatened to displace a group of Muslim women protesters  by force. The women were demonstrating against Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act.

The death toll related to the violence is 50 and rising, according to reports..

Last month, Modi hosted  US President Donald Trump, and his wife Melania, for a 36-hour visit. Entire neighborhoods of northeast New Delhi were burnt down, and at least four mosques desecrated during the visit, according to published reports.

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