Amid the ongoing stir over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), United States President Donald Trump will discuss the issues concerning the same with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the former's upcoming visit to India.
"President Trump will talk about our shared tradition of democracy and religious freedom, both, in his public remarks and certainly in private. He will raise these issues, particularly the religious freedom issue that's very important for this (Trump) administration. We have our shared commitment of upholding our universal values, the rule of law," said a senior official from Trump administration.
"We have great respect for Indian Democratic traditions and institutions and we will continue to encourage India to uphold those traditions. We are concerned about the issues that you (the reporter) have raised," the official said in response to a query raised on whether the issue of CAA and NRC will be discussed. He added, "The President will talk about these issues, in his meetings with Prime Minister Modi and note that the world is looking at India to continue to uphold its democratic tradition."
The CAA grants citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who have come to India before 31 December 2014. However, the nation witnessed unrest after the passage of the act with widespread protests. Some of the protests turned violent in prominent universities such as JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia University, Aligarh Muslim University with incidents of stone-pelting, vandalism, damaging public property leading to harsh retaliation from police personnel.
Besides the universities, the on-going protest of Shaheen Bagh has led to a blockade of the road connecting Delhi and Noida causing massive inconvenience to civilians and emergency services such as ambulances. The Supreme Court has sent interlocutors to facilitate the mediation and convince the protestors to move to a different designated site for protests rather than blocking roads and causing inconvenience to civilians.
The US President is scheduled to arrive for a two-day visit on February 24 with a 12-member delegation and First Lady Melania Trump. There will be multiple meetings and delegation-level talks apart from the exchange of agreements. 'Make In India' announcement which has allegedly made the protectionism concern even greater for the US and the tariff raised in the Union Budget may also be discussed.
(with inputs from ANI)