As Rohingyas Seek Refuge In Myanmar, India Needs To Eliminate Religious Requirements In Their Refugee Laws

Over 90,000 Rohingyas who are victims of an upsurge violent violence that has erupted in Myanmar is fleeing across the border into Bangladesh as 30,000 remain remaining in the area of border crossings. The same time the government of the premier of India who is scheduled to travel to Myanmar in the coming week – announced that the 40,000 Rohingya refugees are set to be exiled. The appeal against the decision, filed by two Rohingya refugees seeking asylum from Delhi has been re-examined by the Indian supreme court.

In the opinion of those who favor the move by the government, removing refugees Rohingya refugee population is essential since their presence will inspire Islamic religious fanaticism. The newspaper columns have suggested that the situation in Myanmar is now an issue of terror to India.

However, how could India is a nation which has been hosting refugees since it was founded as a country and has deported thousands of refugees according to their ethnicity or religious beliefs? The country’s policy on refugees might provide more information.

Poor Refugee Laws

India has hosted huge numbers of refugees, without the existence of any particular law from 1971 which was the year that a huge flow of refugees came from war-ravaged Bangladesh. It was based on United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) guidelines as well as what is sometimes called the customary international law.

According to UN information India has anywhere from 150,000-200,000 persons each year.

In the first quarter of 2014 in the first half of 2014, the UN Refugee agency counted more than 2 million refugees that resided in India. The arrivals occurred during the peak of conflict and migration crises which included the 1947 partition as well as the Tibet crises of 1959, and the establishment of Bangladesh 1971 and civil conflicts within Sri Lanka and wars in Afghanistan.

They aren’t just refugees from the devastated countries of their neighbors, as well as are also originate from African or Middle Eastern countries such as Congo, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, Rwanda, Somalia.

Religious Discrimination

To stop such flows to combat these flows, Indian government came up with a fresh plan last year. The government has suggested amending this law to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 and making the process of naturalisation more straightforward – excluding people who have been displaced of the Muslim religion.

This bill could be beneficial to those who belong to the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Zoroastrian and Sikh religions, which are considered minor religions in the countries of their origin such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and Bangladesh, but they are not Muslims who are a target of persecution in their country that they originate from, like those of the Burmese Rohingyas. This is why the most recent proposal was to exile Rohingya.

In India the country, there are 9.200 refugees from Afghanistan Of these, 8,500 of them are Hindus . In addition, there are more than 400 Pakistani Hindu refugee settlements in the major Indian cities. The majority of them are situated in Gujarat as well as Rajasthan states which share a border with Pakistan.

Other groups that may gain the benefits of this new status include indigenous tribes including Buddhist Chakmas as well as Hindu Hajongs of Bangladesh.

Persecuted Muslims

However, Muslim minorities are also frequently mistreated and are forced to seek asylum. Ahmadiyya Muslims, that follow the nineteenth century prophet Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are subject to persecutors in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Similar to that, Hazaras (mainly are found mostly in Afghanistan as well as Pakistan) are also targeted for persecution.

Today in Myanmar, Rohingya Muslims are a target of the right-wing Buddhist monks as well as Ideologists. For instance, in Sri-Lanka, Tamil Muslims are likewise discriminated against by the hardliners who wish to establish the doctrine of Buddhist rule of law.

Many people from these backgrounds have migrated to India. According to the latest bill the Rohingyas will not be recognized as refugees. In fact, 14,000 Rohingyas legally registered with the UNHCR might be exiled if classified as unlawful by government officials. Indian government.

This new plan violates the equality right which is protected under the Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The law is a prohibition on discrimination in the name of religion, race, caste, creed sexual orientation, or birthplace. This is in contradiction to some other fundamental rights as well.

In this case, India grants full protection as well as assistance via the UNHCR to those (non-Muslims) from Sri Lanka and Tibet and Tibet, assisting those who need to obtain documents that provide various legal advantages. In contrast, refugees from Myanmar, Palestine, and Somalia are not often assisted.

The Significance That The SAARC Region

Instead of being seen as a country which forced thousands of people to be exiled like Rohingyas Rohingyas, India could actually be a model for South Asia with regard to how refugees are treated.

In particular, it might utilize the auspices under the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to review the resolution of January 2004 South Asian Declaration on the Eminent and Refugees Group’s idea to create the ideal legislation that adheres to international human rights norms.

Affirmed by international conventions, and also on the The 1984 Cartagena Declaration on Refugees it broadened the scope that is “refugee”. Furthermore, India is in need of a law with an unconstrained definition of refugee status, so that everyone are protected as the world’s largest country with the most diverse religions.

Kenyan Demonstrations Have Walked The Streets In A Horde What Is The Law Saying Regarding Their Rights

In Kenya large areas, hundreds of youth protest against tax reforms proposed by the administration of President William Ruto as part of its budget bill for the year. Using hashtags like #RejectFinanceBill2024 and #OccupyParliament, protesters have held demonstrations against the finance bill since 18 June 2024. The protesters believe that the bill’s proposals are burdensome for salaried Kenyans as well as entrepreneurs and customers. They claim it is against Ruto’s election pledge to make people in poverty at the heart of the economic system, reduce taxes as well as lower costs of living.

Responding to the protests, police are using teargas or batons along with water cannons to disperse protesters. At least two protesters have killed and dozens have been wounded. John Mukum Mbaku has researched the implementation of the human rights laws of Africa and in particular Kenya for more than three years. We asked him a few questions about the right to express protests in Kenya.

What Laws Regulate Public Demonstrations In Kenya?

The right to demonstrate is comprised of of rights protected by legal and international laws. It includes the right of the freedom of speech as well as the right to assemble peacefully. These rights form an integral aspect of democratic government in Kenya.

Protest rights are embedded in Kenya’s constitution through Article 37. The article states:

Everyone has the right to peacefully and without weapons to gather, to protest in peaceful protest, to demonstrate, and submit petitions the authorities of public.

Citizens have the ability to notify the authorities about their concerns. This is also one of the primary ways in the citizens’ participation in their government.

But, the right to demonstrate isn’t always absolute. People who exercise the right should not violate the rights of other people or hinder the functioning of the state, or compromise public safety or order.

Other laws define the purpose of demonstrations held in Kenya. These include the section 5 of the Public Order Act. The Public Order Act regulates gatherings in public and prohibits “a public meeting or a public procession” which isn’t permitted by the law.

Anyone who plans a gathering for the public or public parade should notify the police chief of the closest police station “at least three days, but not more than 14 days, before the event”.

The international human rights legislation imposes an obligation on the government and security services to increase the capability for citizens to exercise their right to peaceful gathering.

In particular, as per the document from 1990, UN Fundamental Principles regarding the use of Force and firearms used by law enforcement officials,

For the dispersal of gatherings which are illegal but not violent the law enforcement officers should not use force, or, if it isn’t feasible they shall limit their use to the smallest extent that is necessary.

While not legally binding, The UN Basic Principles provide guidance in the interpretation of the international human rights laws. They also aid UN members ensure that law enforcement personnel comply with the international human rights laws.

Kenya signed it’s ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in May 1972. As per Article 21, of the Covenant:

The right to peaceful assemblies is guaranteed. There are no restrictions upon the use of this right, other that those in accordance with law. These restrictions are required in a democracy society to ensure national security or security, law and order (ordre public) and the safeguarding of public morals or health as well as the protection of the rights and liberties of other people.

Why Do Protests Matter?

Protesting is essential to the safeguarding of the rights of people in a democratic system such as Kenya’s. It is therefore crucial to ensure that Kenyans and their governments ensure the constitutionally protected right to exercise their rights for various motives.

  • Protests in public can help encourage Kenyans and allow them to realize that they’re not alone in their attempts to petition the government for relief to their grievances.
  • The peaceful protests of the public can force the government to take into account matters that appeal to protesters during national policy discussions.
  • Protests could increase the capability of minorities to take part in the process of governance and decision-making particularly.
  • Protests are an instrument for education, helping the government recognize, end or reformulate “bad” or unworkable policies.
  • The protests could force politicians to adhere to their election promises and avoid abandoning the strategies for development that were employed to gain votes and win elections.
  • Youthful protests are a great way to give individuals the opportunity to introduce innovative ideas into politics and make government more meaningful to the life of people.

What Have Kenyan Justices Interpreted And Applied The Right To Demonstrate?

Kenyan court systems have created their own jurisprudence concerning the right of assembly and protest. Though some court decisions have granted the right to demonstrate however, other decisions appear to place restrictions to citizens’ rights of freedom of assembly and association.

In the case of Ngunjiri Wambugu v. Director General of Police and Others (2019) the court ordered the government to:

In order to create and/or modify the law or regulations that ensure that protests are not violent and conducted in accordance with the Constitution which includes, for example, requirements to delimit demonstration zones, responsibility for cleanup cost, and maximum numbers. the consent of those who live near zones of demonstration, and appropriate sanctions for violations of the legal requirements.

Human rights activists believe the order is a violation of the right to assembly in the Kenyan constitution. While the establishment of “demonstration zones” may appear as a way to safeguard the right to peaceful protest but their actual effect could be censorship as well as an inexplicably restrictive restriction in the right to freedom of expression and gathering.

The establishment of official protest zones could undermine the democratic purpose that demonstrations serve. Demonstrators should be able decide the place for their protests to ensure maximum accessibility to the people they want to reach. As an example, a demonstration against corrupt legislative practices will be more effective when it is held near the parliament building or, at minimum, within their proximity.

Since the goal of protests is to raise awareness of the organizers’ causes or grievances, the location of the demonstration is one of the most important aspects that gives the person the ability to be protested.

What Can Be Done To Increase The Rights of Demonstrate?

It is important for the government to regulate demonstrations in order to limit harm for example, deaths or damage to property, it should not create criminal liability for peaceful demonstrators. Security forces must instead strive to ensure the safety of those attending large-scale gatherings.

The most important thing is that State agents must not be involved in any activities that violate fundamental rights under the pretense of security and peace.

The idea of holding protest organizers together responsible for acts they could not have done in a fair way and may deter those who organize protests from doing so for fears of potential penalties in the event that the damage is caused.

India’s “Instant Divorce” Ban: The Final Outcome Or A First Step Towards The Process of Reforming Islamic Laws?

“Un-Islamic, arbitrary, unconstitutional.” This was the ruling by the Indian Supreme Court as it declared an end to the controversial usage of the instant “triple-talaq”.

Triple-talaq is a type of Islamic divorce that permits the husband to end his marriage at once and unilaterally by declaring “talaq” (divorce) three times to his wife.

While it’s been practiced for many years in the traditional practice of divorce however, it has no formal sanction in Islamic law. There is no official endorsement of it in the Qur’an that lays out clearly that divorces must go by an orderly process that provides room for reconciliation. and authoritative jurisprudence texts generally declare instant-talaq as “sinful”, if not necessarily technical “forbidden”.

Based on this, it is no surprise that, in particular in the last century, the majority of Muslim nations have prohibited instant-talaq including neighbors Pakistan along with Bangladesh. Sri Lanka has also banned it. However, instant-talaq was lawful in India. It was delivered in person or, increasingly, through SMS, email as well as WhatsApp and it caused a multitude of women to suffer the consequences of being immediately abandoned and homelessness, or even destitution.

This is why the decision is being celebrated by many as being one of the most important events in the Indian history in the struggle for women’s equality. In an year marked by the deterioration of women’s rights around the world this is a moment worth celebrating.

However, this ban poses questions about how far more it can take. It could lead to massive overhaul in Muslim legislation in India? Will the intervention be limited to this point? To answer this question, we must look into the complexities of the place Muslim family laws have played within India’s constitutional and legal environment.

A Collection of Personal Laws

It is difficult to comprehend why India is, with its religion pluralism as well as secular constitution, has been one of the last safe havens for these vile practices such like instant-talaq. The solution lies in the complicated relation between Indian government and the troubled minority communities.

Since India’s independence and in the aftermath of the tragic effects of partition, leaders have pledged to safeguard the freedom of religion by permitting minorities to live according to their own rules and family-related issues.

This implies that in Indian law and in politics the right of minorities to enjoy a life without restriction is now mingled with the notion that the state cannot interfere in practices that are specific to communities like matrimonial laws.

Thus, while politicians or judges throughout the Muslim world including Morocco to Indonesia have been able to amend Islamic laws, either bringing them to the courts of their own and codifying the laws, none of this has was the case in India.

India has not yet enacted an uniform set of family law laws that apply to all residents. In fact, the majority of Muslim laws have remained in a state of obscurity. They are often as unregulated entities at the level of the community as well as weddings that are religious not being registered and divorces occurring without the need of a the court.

The commitment of India to protect of minorities is laudable and necessary, and something worth celebrating. But it’s also had some unwanted side effects.

The long-standing reluctance of judiciary and the politicians to take action too strongly in laws that are minority-friendly has allowed fringe practices that are controversial to endure. They include not just instant-talaq but also polygamy and the nikah-halala the practice in which a woman who has divorced is forced to get married and then consummate an interim marriage prior to remarrying her husband of the first marriage.

In many cases women have been the most savage sufferers of this “religious” practices – their individual rights are sacrificed in exchange for the rights claimed by the entire community.

What Is The Future of Non-Intervention?

The Supreme Court’s decision mark a wider change from this long-term approach of non-intervention?

On the other on the other hand, the court’s decision to ban the practice differs from the past mistakes it has made to enforce its rulings on Muslim laws. In the infamous case of the Shah Bano case in 1985, the Court tried to alter Muslim laws governing alimony however, the government, under pressure from political parties, reversed the court’s decision.

This won’t occur this time. Instead this current BJP government is a court’s advocate in this matter. It has for a long time been vocal about its opposition to instant-talaq and plans to create the brand new Muslim marriage legislation that will replace the existing one. A particular section of the opinion which is now more energised within the political party, has for a long time been adamant about broad change in Muslim family law.

However, on the other side the verdict of the court is able to prohibit instant-talaq, but in a way that doesn’t require more changes.

The case was threatening to be a gloves-off fight between constitutional rights in equality, and the freedom to worship. Any decision that would have addressed this issue could have significant implications for Muslim laws and also for the laws that apply to other religious communities.

Perhaps in a deliberate way the court has skillfully avoided this issue. In allowing its justices to employ different logics including constitutional and Qur’anic, the court was able to assert that instant-talaq is in violation of both Islamic and constitutional norms in equal measure. “What is bad in theology is bad in law also,” declared Justice Kurian Joseph. The ban does not create a conflict of morals.

In the midst of a heightened mood This decision is a sign of pragmaticity. Many commentators have praised it for its balanced approach to weighing divergent views however others have expressed regret over its prudence. Some have suggested that the decision in denying instant-talaq as a sin and making the personal law system aside for review in fact, makes the foundations of the system stronger. It strengthens Muslim family law however it does not limit some of the laws.

The Reform Process Starts From Inside

Therefore, this ban could actually be a single-off decision instead of a step in the beginning.

However, what could change this year around is the fact that there is a vocal demands for more changes the Indian Muslims themselves.

The call for change that came in the form of internal calls by community members in this case was decisive. It includes people who signed the petition and an assortment of Islamic feminist organizations and a variety of Muslim public lawyers and intellectuals. Together, they’ve created a massive interest among the masses as well as an large-scale campaign of social protest.

Invigorated by the decision, a lot of these individuals are now looking for what’s next. Some are seeking polygamyand the nikah-halala issue, which have been ruled out by the Supreme Court refused to consider this time around, to be dealt with. Some even want an complete legal codification Muslim law.

If more extensive changes to Muslim laws happen in the future, they could be introduced not based on the wishes of the parliament or courts rather in response to demands from the community. They will also have greater legitimacy when they are inspired by the people within.