HinduPACT Responds to US State Dept and Ambr Comments on CAA


March 16, 2024

Considering recent criticisms from the US State Department and the US Ambassador to India regarding implementing India’s Constitutional Amendment Act (CAA), Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPACT) reaffirms its unwavering support for the CAA.  The legislation provides expedited citizenship to persecuted Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, and Parsi minorities from India’s neighboring countries.  It underscores India’s dedication to safeguarding individuals and families against religious persecution, resonating with global humanitarian principles.

We are astonished that the US State Department and the US Ambassador to India, Eric Garcetti, are ignorant of similar US laws.  India’s CAA is modeled after the Lautenberg Amendment to the Jackson–Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974.  Enacted on November 21, 1989, this amendment specifically provides refugee status in the United States for nationals from the Soviet Union and later the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania who are Jews, Evangelical Christians, Ukrainian Catholics or Ukrainian Orthodox; as well as nationals of Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia; and Jews, Christians, Baha’i, and other religious minorities from Iran.

Ajay Shah, Founder and Co-Convenor of HinduPACT, said,

 “CAA does not impact any citizen of India.  The characterization of this law as being non-secular is unfounded.  Hindu minority is discriminated against and decimated in India’s neighborhood.  As Americans, we are disappointed that instead of standing for American values and the human rights of the persecuted, our government has chosen to oppose this humanitarian effort.”

 Deepti Mahajan, Co-Convenor of HinduPACT, said,

“It is shocking to see the lack of empathy towards the plight of little girls from Hindu, Sikh, and Christian minority communities in Pakistan.  According to the UN Human Rights Commission, BBC, and APPG reports, on average, 1000 girls a year, as little as ten years old, get abducted, converted, and become victims of sex slavery and forced marriages in Pakistan.  Instead of calling out the government of Pakistan for its complicity in this ongoing heartbreaking act, the State Department seeks to criticize the Government of India’s effort to help these innocent victims.”

About HinduPACT:

The Hindu Policy Research and Advocacy Collective (HinduPACT) is an initiative of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA) dedicated to the advocacy and policy research of issues concerning the American Hindu community.  HinduPACT promotes human rights, voter education, and policies affecting American Hindus, aiming for peace and understanding through informed policy initiatives and grassroots advocacy.