Issue :   
February 2020 Edition of Power Politics is updated.
Issue:Feb' 2020


Protect all the persecuted !

Your cover story analyzes well all dimensions of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the protests and violence that have followed it. In December 2019 our Lok Sabha did well to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019. The legislation makes it easier for non-Muslim refugees, namely from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities, from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to gain citizenship in our country. The legislation is applicable to groups who arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.
The new Act makes amendments to provisions related to OCI-(Overseas Citizen of India) cardholders. Now a foreigner may register as an OCI under the 1955 Act if they are of Indian origin (e.g., former citizen of India or their descendants) or the spouse of a person of Indian origin. This will entitle them to benefits such as the right to travel to India, and to work and study in the country. The Act allows cancellation of OCI registration if the person has violated any law notified by the central government.
The new Act says that the provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. These tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District. It will also not apply to the areas under the Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The Inner Line Permit regulates visit of Indians to Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, and Nagaland.

I, however, wish the Modi government at the Centre had drafted the Bill in a wiser way. Apart from the groups mentioned in the Act, there are others who have been persecuted on the religious ground since Pakistan split from India in 1947. All of them deserve to be treated well by India. India has remained secular after her independence from British rule. You have rightly pointed out that young India remains committed to secularism.

I am of the view that the Government should have taken this into consideration. It is still not late. The Kerala Assembly has recently called upon the Centre to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act. The Centre may consider it and make the required changes in it. It is unfortunate that the Centre is obdurate in the matter. The other day , Union Home Minister Amit Shah declared the government would not ‘go back an inch” in the matter.

K Srinivas

Rights violations

Mike Pompeo On Human Rights Day in December every year, advanced democracies reaffirm their commitment to great values of modern civilisation. It was no exception in the year just gone by. On this occasion, American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the universal rights outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirmed his government’s commitments to “individuals who demand by word and deed that their governments respect their unalienable rights.”
Recently, both the US administration and the American Congress have also taken some bold steps to defend the rights of people abroad. In December American President Donald J Trump signed a law to support pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In October the US government ordered Chinese diplomats to notify the State Department in advance of any official meetings with US diplomats, local or municipal officials and before any visits to colleges and research institutions.

Donald J Trump The US House of Representatives passed the Uighur Act (2019). After the US Senate passes it, it will go for the presidential assent . Once that happens, American President Donald Trump would be competent to slap sanctions on senior Chinese officials responsible for rights abuses.
In tune with such steps, the United States administration should also care for the rights of Syrian Kurds. Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies have caused havoc to them in northern Syria since October 2019. The administration should also prevail on Pakistan to care for the rights of women in the country. Over 629 girls and women from across Pakistan were reportedly sold to Chinese men and taken to China. Pakistani investigators determined to dismantle the trafficking networks have been under pressure from the top brass not to go ahead.

The US administration should also do the needful to make the rights situation better in the 57- member Organization of Islamic Conference. Recently, the organisation got Gambia to call on the ICJ to announce measures to prevent any further genocide of Rohingya Muslims by Myanmar. This is fine. But the organization should improve the rights situation in its own member states. Most of them have had very poor human rights records.

George A

Need for caution

Xi Jinping In developing relations with communist dispensation in China, New Delhi must be cautious. India today is facing a huge $63 billion trade deficit with China.
The Sino-Indian boundary dispute is far from resolved . B e i j i n g ’ s intentions on the issue of its border with India are not assuring. There have of late been reports of C h i n a ’ s incursions in Ladakh and A r u n a c h a l Pradesh.
Beijing, under Chinese President Xi Jinping continues to back the establishment in Islamabad on almost all fronts of diplomacy. China has extended major help to Pakistan– from nuclear and missile assistance to security assurances. It has extended diplomatic protection to Pakistan’s India-specific terror activities . Beijing’s stance on the issue of Kashmir, an integral part of India, has been absolutely anti-India. In August, India abrogated the special status of Kashmir. Beijing supported Islamabad in raising objection to it at the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

Imran Khan Qamar Bajwa During Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing in October , Xi stated that China is “paying close attention” to the situation in Kashmir. China maintains that the question of Jammu and Kashmir should be settled on the basis of the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
China and Pakistan continue to be “all weather strategic partners.” Pakistan’s all powerful Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa accompanied his Prime Minister Khan during his October visit to China. He met China’s Army General Han Weiguo as well as its Central Military Commission ViceChairman General Xu Qiliang.

M. Awasthi