City of Seattle passes resolution against CAA-NRC

Asks PM Modi to uphold the Constitution, hauls him over the coals on Assam and Kashmir issues

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The city of Seattle had passed a resolution condemning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). The resolution titled “A RESOLUTION reaffirming Seattle as a welcoming city, expressing the Seattle City Council’s solidarity with Seattle’s South Asian community regardless of religion and caste, and opposing India’s National Register of Citizens and Citizenship Amendment Act” was adopted by the city on February 3, 2020.

The resolution holds no punches and begins on a knock-out note saying, “… the far-right Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been criticized for promoting violence against religious minorities, silencing dissent, and actions which earned Prime Minister Modi the nickname “the Butcher of Gujarat,” a reference to the 2002 massacre – when Narendra Modi was Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat – in which an estimated 2,000 people were killed in anti-Muslim violence, and many Muslim women were targeted for rape and other forms of sexual violence.”

It adds, “CAA is the first instance of religion being used as a criterion for Indian citizenship,” adding, “in August 2019, Modi’s right-wing government published an updated NRC, requiring nearly two million people in the northeastern state of Assam to prove with documentary evidence their Indian citizenship or face detention at mass prisons and detention camps that the Indian government has begun to build and fill.”

Highlighting the plight of unlettered, economically weak and marginalized communities in wake of this documentary burden, 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-naturalized.”

It also quotes a New York Times piece dated December 22, 2019 that said, “The Indian home minister, Amit Shah, has vowed in speeches to expand the checks used in Assam to other states and then use the citizenship law to purge India of ‘infiltrators’ and ‘termites’.” The resolution goes on to state the alleged excesses committed by the police on protesters and also US president Donald Trump’s “Howdy Modi” rally that took place in September 2019, showcasing it as an example of the growing threat of far-right politics.

The resolution says, “Seattle City Council 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 rapidly expanding authoritarianism of the Modi government in nuclear-armed India is of concern, not only to the millions of Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous, and LGBT people in India, but also to Seattle’s South Asian immigrant community and those opposed to Trump and the right wing in the United States.” It adds, “City Council believes that the CAA and the NRC are inconsistent with Seattle being a welcoming city, for South Asian communities of all castes and religions, and proclaimed September 24, 2019 to be Stand with Kashmir Day, Clerk File 321438, in response to the Modi government stripping India’s only Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir, of its autonomy.”

It finally resolves to do the following:

“The Seattle City Council opposes the National Register of Citizens and the Citizenship Amendment Act in India, and finds these policies to be discriminatory to Muslims, oppressed castes, women, indigenous, and LGBT people. The Seattle City Council urges the United States Congress to (a) support legislation censuring the Republic of India for adopting these policies and (b) call for the Parliament of India to uphold the Indian constitution by repealing the Citizenship Amendment Act, stopping the National Register of Citizens, and taking steps towards helping refugees by ratifying various UN treaties on refugees.”

The entire resolution may be read here:



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