By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 2 Sept 2020: The Greens in the New South Wales Senate moved a motion against India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) (passed on 10 December 2019). The motion was moved by Greens Senator David Shoebridge on 27 August 2020.
The CAA passage in the Indian Parliament led to protests in the country and overseas but the Indian Government defended it saying it is aimed at helping minorities facing prosecution in neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, a challenge to the CAA in India’s Supreme Court was filed on 12 December 2019. It was then heard on 22 January 2020 and the government asked to file a reply within four weeks. The govt filed a reply in March 2020 and since then the case has not been listed for hearing.
The full text of Shoebridge’s speech while moving the motion:
“India’s constitution commits it to democracy, equality, secularism asymmetrical federalism, and the protection of freedom of speech.
“But in spite of this, in December 2019, India enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act which discriminates on the grounds of religion and the provision of citizenship.
“The citizenship legislation is effectively being used to revoke the citizenship of religious minorities and will result in statelessness for many vulnerable, marginalized groups.
“Large numbers of people have been declared to be foreigners left at risk of statelessness by citizenship verification processes of questionable legality and protests and dissent have been met with an authoritarian government response and civil liberties have been dramatically curtailed.”
Not only were protesters subject to police violence during the protests, but intellectuals, activists, and students who were active in the anti-CAA protest scenario have been arrested amidst the COVID-19 lockdown, in the aftermath of violence in northeast Delhi.
“This house calls on the Australian government, (a) require an ongoing dialogue as part of its broader engagement with the Modi administration that critically reviews Indian Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, and (b) they renegotiate trade agreements between Australia and India so that they include a human rights clause,” Shoebridge said.