Hyderabad: In an article for the Indian Express Former Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) Ban Ki Moon, has expressed concern over the violence that erupted in north east Delhi in the month of February. He said he was profoundly disappointed and alarmed by the communal violence that disfigured Delhi in recent weeks.
CAA, NRC, NPR
Finding links to the Delhi riots with CAA, NRC and NPR, former UN Secretary-General observed, “the attacks on poor, working people, mainly Muslims, in Delhi cannot be separated from the attempts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to redefine Indian citizenship and who is eligible for it, via the recent Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), and the proposed National Population Register and National Register of Citizens.”
Gandhi’s vision at threat
Ban Ki Moon noted that Gandhi’s vision which has inspired million of people around the world is now threatened by sectarian violence and divisive political rhetoric.
CAA, NRC, NPR incompatible with Indian Constitution
Criticising Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the proposed National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) former UN secretary general observed: “these measures would appear to be incompatible with Article 14 of India’s Constitution, which clearly states that all citizens are equal before the law.”
India’s global future at stake
Showing concerns about India’s global future he stated: “Together, these developments pose searching questions about India’s democratic future and its place in the global family of nations.”
Turning some Indians into second-class citizens
Slamming Indian governments bid to make Muslims second-class citizens, Ban ki moon pointed out “There is no way that India can overcome its developmental challenges by pitting one religious group against another and turning some Indians into second-class citizens. Yet, I fear this is the precise implication of the CAA and other legislative measures that PM Modi’s government has proposed. When people of one religion are denied access to citizenship that is freely available to others, it prompts memories of some of the darkest periods in recent human history.”
Attack on Muslims based on rumours of cow slaughter beef-consumption
He further added: “International observers, including myself, have also been increasingly alarmed at the arbitrary attacks on India’s Muslims based on rumours about sensitive issues such as cow slaughter, beef consumption and inter-communal personal relationships.”
Expressing fears that these actions are tantamount to vigilante punishment, which has a harmful impact on social cohesion as well as the democratic fabric of society, former UN secretary-general pointed out: “If India were to go further down this path of nationalist and religious discrimination, it would be a political and social catastrophe that could set back the country’s development for generations.”
NRC, CAA united Muslims, Hindus and others
Hailing Hindu-Muslim unity Ban ki moon stated: “Protests against the register and citizenship law united Muslims, Hindus and Indians of other religions, who voiced their common concerns at the threat to secular democracy. This commitment to solidarity was also evident among civil society groups working in Delhi to support victims of the recent violence.”