Bengaluru: The Archbishop of Bengaluru Peter Machado told presspersons on Thursday appealing to the Central government to grant citizenship to undocumented migrants on the basis of each individual case, and not on the basis of their religion. In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Governor of Karnataka Vajubhai Vala, the Archbishop said that religion should never be the criterion for granting citizenship, and asked the government to change course if necessary for the good of the country and the people.
“We wish to reiterate the statement made by the Archbishop of Bombay, Oswald Cardinal Gracias, who is the head of the Catholic Church in India, on December 27th regarding CAA that there is a danger of polarisation of people along religious lines, which is very harmful to the country.”
He issued this statement “Religion should never be the criterion for citizenship of a country. Nor is violence a solution when there is a difference of opinion. It is necessary that the government dialogues with those opposing the Act, and comes to an agreement about the way forward with justice, equity and fairness.”
“By doing so the government can mete out justice to all the illegal migrants, thus promote equality among them. More so, it can also convince the citizens of the country that it upholds the sacredness of the Constitution and respects the rights of all linguistic and religious minorities without any discrimination,”
“Through this memorandum, we wish to stress that the Christian community will continue to work for the betterment of all citizens without any discrimination and will continue to build the nation based on equality, justice, and fairness,” he added.
The Archbishop also cleared their stance whether the Christian community opposes the government’s proposed plan to implement the nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), He said that they can support CAA on its theoretical basis but not on its practical aspects.