Joe Biden, the 77-year-old former vice president of the United States and now the presumptive Democratic nominee for the forthcoming US Presidential elections, has kicked up a controversy by expressing his unsolicited views on Jammu and Kashmir, Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in India.
Democrat Biden who is challenging the 74-year-old Republican incumbent president Donald Trump in the November 3 presidential elections, wants India to take necessary steps to ‘restore rights of all Kashmiris and has expressed disappointment over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as well as the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam.
A policy paper—’Joe Biden’s agenda for Muslim American community’ was posted recently on his campaign website, which said that the measures (the CAA and the National Register of Citizens) are irreconcilable with the country’s long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy.
A group of Hindu Americans contacted Biden campaign to express their displeasure over the language used for India and urged it to reassess its views on India. The group has aso sought a similar policy paper on Hindu Americans.
However, the Biden campaign did not respond questions in this regard.
In order to project that Biden comprehends the pains endured by Muslim-American with respect to what is happening in Muslim-majority nations and countries with sizeable Muslim populace, the policy paper categorised Kashmir and Assam in India with the forced detention of over a million Uyghur Muslims in China’s Xinjiang province, and discrimination and brutalities faced by Burma’s Rohingya Muslim minority.
“The Indian government should take all necessary steps to restore rights of all the people of Kashmir. Restrictions on dissent, such as preventing peaceful protests or shutting or slowing down the Internet, weakens democracy,” said the policy paper on Muslim Americans.
The policy paper further added that the presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden is disappointed by the measures that the government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens in Assam and the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act.
In a bid to lure Indian-American voters, the policy paper hailed Joe Biden as one of the best friends of India and Indian-Americans, claiming the former vice-president, who served under President Barack Obama for eight years, played an instrumental role in the passage of the historic India-US civilian nuclear deal and strongly advocated increasing the bilateral trade between the two countries to $500 billion per annum. Well-acquainted with the Indian-Americans, Biden regularly hosted Diwali at his vice-presidential residence, it said.
However, Rishi Bhutada, a board member of Hindu American Political Action Committee, said that the Biden campaign is missing the much-needed context about “Pakistan-sponsored cross border terrorism in regards to Kashmir”. Defending the CAA, Bhutada added that the former vice president’s election campaign is also missing how the new citizenship amendment act is a good-faith effort by the government to alleviate the pains of approximately 30,000 persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who continue to live in India and are deprived of their basic human rights because of lack of citizenship.