The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 has claimed a victim in Tamil Nadu, albeit in a different way.
The ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) representative in the Rajya Sabha (MP), Mohammed John, has been removed from the post of patron in All Jamaat Federation in the state. He has also been removed from the administrative councils of 64 jamaats.
Mohammed Hassan, an All Jamaat Federation member and president of Ranipet district Tamizhaga Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (Tamil Nadu Muslims Progressive Front), told the media that the decision to strip him of the post was taken on Monday (16 December) evening since John had voted in favour of Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha.
Hassan termed John’s support, in line with the AIADMK support for the amendment, as “an offence of insulting Muslims”.
The decision, made by 24 members of the federation, against John was taken following state-wide pressure from jamaats and the Muslim community in Ranipet district. Hasaan said John’s vote was against the interests of the whole community.
Similarly, the AIADMK MP has been removed from the administrative councils of 64 jamaats in Vellore, Ambur, Tirupattur and Vaniyambadi.
Muslims in Tamil Nadu are reportedly upset over the AIADMK’s support to CAA which they term as “unconstitutional and polarising”.
Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and others have been arguing that the Rajya Sabha would not have passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill had the 11 AIADMK MPs voted against it.
AIADMK Rajya Sabha MP S R Balasubromaniam has termed the party’s support to CAA as “alliance compulsions”.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has justified his party’s support to CAA 2019, saying it would not affect any person in the country and whichever religion that one might belong to.
Mohammed John was nominated by the AIADMK as one of the candidates in the elections to fill vacancies in the Rajya Sabha in July this year.
Until 2013, John as a minister in the 2011-2016 AIADMK government, had held the portfolios of Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes, Denotified Communities, Overseas Indian Refugees and Minorities, including the Waqf Board.
Ironically, the AIADMK had nominated him as its candidate for the Rajya Sabha in an effort to address criticism against it for not fielding any Muslim in the Lok Sabha elections in May.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act will grant citizenship to non-Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who fled religious persecution and arrived in India until 31 December 2014.
However, opposition parties across the country have been misleading people saying it was loaded against one community, and are confusing them with the National Register of Citizens of India that was implemented for Assam citizens.