San Francisco Wednesday became the sixth US city to pass a resolution against India’s anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The resolution, reaffirming San Francisco as a “welcoming city,” comes in the wake of five other cities (Seattle WA, Albany NY, St. Paul MN, Hamtramck MI, Cambridge MA) having passed similar resolutions denouncing the CAA and NRC and the exclusionary and bigoted worldview they represent.
The resolution, passed by a unanimous vote at the Board’s meeting Wednesday, categorically opposes the CAA, NRC and NPR as “discriminatory to Muslims, caste oppressed, women, indigenous peoples, and the LGBTQ community.”
President Trump’s bigoted policies within the U.S. including discriminating on religious grounds, targeting vulnerable communities, stripping citizenship, fabricating crises, and stoking hatred, have been mirrored by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Hindu extremist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government, and their alarming ideology that Hindus are racially and culturally superior to others, the resolution said adding:
“The San Francisco Board of Supervisors believes it is the duty of ordinary people to oppose the dangerous rise of the far right everywhere in the world and believes that the human rights record of the BJP government in India is of concern, not only to the millions of Muslims, caste oppressed, women, indigenous, and LBGTQ people in India, but also to San Francisco’s South Asian immigrant community.”
The San Francisco City Council urged other municipalities and the United States Congress to join them in the call for the Parliament of India to uphold the Indian Constitution by repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act, stop the National Register of Citizens and close all detention facilities detaining de-naturalized citizens.
South Asians welcomed the international community’s growing expressions of solidarity with India’s persecuted minorities and oppressed groups.
The Alliance for Justice and Accountability (AJA) constituent partners joined hands with local San Francisco organizations such as the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture, San Francisco Interfaith Council, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission and the San Francisco Muslim Community Center to work on this resolution.
“We are proud of the City and County of San Francisco for standing on the right side of history today. San Francisco is leading the moral consensus in the global outcry against the CAA,” said Hala Hijazi, a Commissioner on the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.
“India is creating a refugee crisis of biblical proportions. It will impact civil society in many parts of the world including the United States,” said Mr. Nazeer Ahmed of the American Institute of Islamic History and Culture.
The Seattle City Council on February 3, 2020 became the first legislative body in the United States to pass a resolution against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens in India.
Saying that the “far-right” politics of the Bharatiya Janata Party had been recognized as discriminatory, the resolution says, “Most Indians lack documentation such as birth certificates to prove citizenship, and a nationwide expansion of the NRC could strip hundreds of millions of people (disproportionately Muslim, oppressed castes, women, indigenous and LGBT communities) left out of the CAA of their citizenship rights with no option to be re-naturalised.”
Cambridge in Massachusetts State has become the second city in the United States after Seattle to pass a resolution against a controversial citizenship law pushed by India’s Hindu nationalist government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Cambridge City Council on February 11 passed a unanimous resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), calling upon the Indian Parliament to “uphold” the country’s secular constitution by repealing the law and stopping a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The US city houses the world-renowned Harvard University and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology.
“It has come to the attention of the city council that on December 11, 2019, the Indian Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which for the first time uses religion as a criterion for Indian citizenship,” the resolution said.
The Cambridge resolution declared that “Modi government’s racist and repressive policies” were inconsistent with the values of the city, “which welcomes South Asian communities of all castes and religions”.
The city of Albany, New York, on March 2 become the third U.S. city to pass a resolution denouncing the far-right Indian government’s changes to citizenship laws that have drawn international condemnations alleging anti-Muslim bias.
The resolution, modeled after similar measures adopted last month in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Seattle, expresses solidarity with local South Asians and urges Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government to repeal its Citizenship Amendment Act and drop plans for a national citizenship registry.
“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.”
City of Saint Paul, the state capital of Minnesota, passed a resolution on May 20, against India’s National Registry of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act.
Saint Paul city became the fourth city to pass the Resolution. The resolution was passed with a 5-0 vote.
“The City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India.” The City Council found the policies of these laws to be “discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous peoples known as Adivasi, and the LGBTQ community, and any other efforts that render vulnerable populations anywhere to become stateless, scapegoated, and targeted for discrimination, violence, and the abrogation of human rights that are universal to one and all.”
It said the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is dominated by the exclusionary ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). RSS promotes discrimination against Muslims.
The City of Hamtramack in Michigan, passed a resolution on July 14, against discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act and proposed National Register of Citizens NRC by the Hindutav nationalist BJP govt. in India.
Hamtramack is the fifth city council in USA, after Seattle, Albany, Cambridge and St Paul to pass resolution against the islamophobic Citizenship Amendment Act.
While opposing the CAA, the City Council accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Indian and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of fostering “the exclusionary ideology of Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a nationalist organization, which promotes hate and discrimination against Muslims and other minorities”.
The Hamtramack City Council took note of the hate-speech by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah, who “vowed in speeches to expand the checks used in Assam to other states and then use the CAA to purge India of ‘infiltrators’ and ‘termites’”.
The City of New Westminster (Canada) on July 13 passed a motion that called India’s Citizenship Amendment Act “regressive” and “discriminatory” and asked the federal government to oppose it. It also called on the Canadian Parliament to support “the pluralist coexistence of all residents of India regardless of culture, religion or caste.”
The City of New Westminster now raises serious concerns with the Government of India’s December 11 2019 passing of the Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) which clearly discriminates against Muslims and has sparked fatal attacks on Muslims inside India, the motion said adding:
The CAA does not provide for marginalized Muslim Indians living in poverty who have no current documents, an ability to register as Indian citizens, putting them at risk of incarceration and/or deportation; hence the City of New Westminster asks the Federal government to take a position in opposition of the regressive, discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Act, and that the Parliament of Canada supports the pluralist coexistence of all residents of India regardless of culture, religion or caste.