Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, right, attends the India-EU Virtual Summit 2020 with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, top left, and European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, in New Delhi. (Photo: AP)
The European Union has once again expressed concerns over a controversial citizenship law in India that allegedly discriminates against Muslims, but said it had faith the country's top court would address them.At a virtual summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 15, European Union leaders expressed concern that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed last December "contradicted" India’s own Constitution, which guarantees the right to equality for every person."I would like to say that we trust Indian institutions. We understand the Supreme Court will have a role to play to assess this legislation,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council, at a virtual press briefing (from Brussels) after the India-EU Virtual Summit 2020."You know that in the European Parliament this was an important topic, and we raised this issue in our talks,” he said referring to the new law.The controversial law passed in a parliament dominated by Modi’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), triggered nationwide protests and also sharp criticism from government detractors.
Critics say the law shows the BJP’s historical animosity toward Muslims and their support for the ideology of making India a Hindu-only nation. The law has prompted detractors of the BJP both in India and abroad to speak out.Shishir Adhikari, Trinamool Congress party leader in West Bengal says the purpose of the law was to “provide legitimacy to the idea of religious persecution” in neighboring nations and help religious minorities.“But whether its a goof-up or deliberate, the term religious persecution is not included in the final text of the bill. Why?" he asked.