Kerala Orthodox church opposes CAA, says it divides people

IUML State President Panakkad Sayyid Sadiq Ali Thangal said CAA was not only a problem for Muslims but also a problem for secularism.
Gabriel Mar Gregorios
Gabriel Mar GregoriosFacebook
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The Kerala Orthodox church has voiced its opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which was notified by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on March 11. While talking to Media One, Gabriel Mar Gregorios, Thiruvananthapuram Diocese of the India (Malankara) Orthodox Church stated that CAA divides people and hailed the Kerala government for its decision to not implement it in the state.

“If religion comes as a factor in granting citizenship, it’s a dangerous thing. There is a fundamental problem with classifying humanity in the name of religion. The Kerala government decided not to implement CAA, it is a bold decision. This also gives confidence to the minority communities,” he added.

Right after the CAA notification came out, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that CAA will not be implemented in Kerala. "The LDF government has repeated several times that the Citizenship Amendment Act, which treats Muslim minorities as second-class citizens, will not be implemented in Kerala. We reiterate that position. Kerala will stand united in opposing this communal and divisive law," he said.

Read: Pinarayi, Stalin say they won't implement CAA: New rules leave them with no option

Panakkad Sayyid Sadiq Ali Thangal, Kerala state president of the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), told the media that CAA was not only a problem for Muslims but also a problem of secularism. He also added that giving citizenship in the name of religion is a challenge to the Indian constitution.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 11, 2019. The Bill amended the Citizenship Act of 1955. The Act prohibits a migrant person without valid travel documents from acquiring Indian citizenship, except for those who came into India on or before December 31, 2014, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan and belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian religious communities.

Read: Modi Govt notifies CAA: What the Citizenship Act says

Meanwhile, Kerala has been witnessing protests by several political organisations including, the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Youth Congress, Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) Fraternity Movement, and Welfare Party. Several protesters were booked by the Kerala police on March 11 and 12 in the aftermath of the protests. 

Read: Kerala police lathi charge, arrest Fraternity Movement members at anti CAA protest

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