(GregorMSYP/Twitter)
(GregorMSYP/Twitter)

The European Parliament is set to debate a clutch of resolutions moved by several sets of EU MPs deprecating some of the policies followed by the Indian Government. In particular, these MPs have picked on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act to criticize the ‘climate of xenophobia’ fueled by the groups aligned with the ruling party. It has called CAA ‘discriminatory in nature and dangerously divisive.’ Several EU MPs have sponsored separate resolutions for discussion, expressing apprehensions about ‘increasing nationalism which has resulted, inter alia, in fuelling of religious intolerance and discrimination against Muslims.’ Of the six such resolutions concerning recent developments in India, at least one supports India on CAA while taking a dim view of the excessive use of violence in some States to handle the rioting anti-CAA mobs. The manner in which the protest was put down in UP has come in for special criticism. The resolution seems to suffer from a lack of understanding about the actual contents of CAA and relies on wild speculation about the alleged ominous intent behind the proposed national register of citizens. Clearly, the hand of Pakistan through a Muslim EU MP is behind the false propaganda. Having failed to enlist the support of the UN General Assembly, the Security Council and other multilateral forums to raise the recent changes in Kashmir’s constitutional status, Pakistan seems to have got a Pakistan-born MP to canvass against India. Though even otherwise, there is never a dearth of left-leaning elements in these toothless bodies who tend to make everyone’s business as their own. In this case, the resolutions can be discussed, and talked out. And will carry no official authority behind them. The EU has already clarified that it has nothing to do with the privately-sponsored resolutions but has no power to prevent their being discussed in the Parliament should the requisite number of MPs sponsor them. However, this does not mean that some of the recent actions of the Government have not generated legitimate concerns about human rights and equal citizenship for all Indians in foreign quarters. Even India’s well-wishers often find it hard to defend the junking of Article 370 and the conversion of J and K into two Union Territories or the confusion over the changed citizenship law. The exclusion of Muslims from the category of persecuted minorities from the three-Islamic countries in the neighbourhood has led to a lot of misinformed criticism. The Government failed to explain to the people the real objective behind the change. As a result, CAA is widely seen as anti-Muslim, which of course it is not. Taking advantage of this confusion and the protests by the Indian Muslims, the anti-India resolutions in the EU Parliament are wholly one-sided. Indian diplomats ought to have been alert to the ISI propaganda machine which has an advantage against India insofar as it can always invoke Islam to co-opt Pak-born persons in influential positions in EU countries. Nonetheless, India is on the back foot in foreign capitals due to prevailing confusion over the real intent behind some of the recent laws. This impression must be countered.

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