India born British Labour Party politician Neena Gill and the son of an Indian diplomat Dinesh Dhamija, both played key role in averting likely vote division in European union parliament against a motion related to CAA and India. Both politician of Indian origin bargained hard by placing strong argument in favour of legislation passed by the the Indian parliament called CAA (citizen amendment act) . Neena is a Member of the European parliament from Midlands, having been first elected to serve from 1999 to 2009 and then re-elected in 2014 and in 2019.
Gill worked with members of Labour’s shadow cabinet to help develop the party’s social policy. Representing the West Midlands between 1999 and 2009, Gill held various positions, including President of the Delegation for Relations with India and President of the Delegation for Relations with South Asia and SAARC countries. She was also a member of The Legal Affairs Committee and of the Budgets Committee.
Nina Gill, an Indian-origin S&D parliamentarian from the United Kingdom, said: “This is an act of positive discrimination aimed at integration process of refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have already been in India for many years, recognising the high level of discrimination faced by non-Muslims in those countries. It is not seeking to exclude any of the other groups who do not fall within this category.”
Welcoming the postponement of the vote, Gill said the resolution was full of factual inaccuracies. She regretted that her concerns about the persecution of minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh had “fallen on deaf ears”. “Had this house paid a little bit of more attention to those gross violations as we do today to CAA, India may not have had to take these actions.”
Gill said it was the correct decision to wait on the vote “until the Supreme Court has deliberated on this”.
Another British MEP of Indian origin, Dinesh Dhamija of the Renew Europe Group, echoed similar views in clear contradiction to his group’s stance on the resolution.
“India takes in persecuted refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and they are the bad guys? They are the good guys; they’ve taken in the refugees. This motion does not censure any of the three Muslim countries for having created this refugee crisis,” he said.
Dhamija was of the view that the Rohingya migrating from Bangladesh to India should not be considered a religious minority since they were coming from a “majority Muslim state”, instead referring to them as “economic migrants”.
Talking about the National Register of Citizens (NRC) proposed by India, Dhamija questioned: “Are we saying that India or any other country for that matter is not allowed to document the people living inside its boundaries?” He also said that the matter be considered subjudice as it was being looked into by the Indian Supreme Court.
Dhamija was born in Australia. [He grew up in India, Mauritius, Afghanistan, Czechoslovakia and the Netherlands. He was educated at Mayo College, King’s School, Canterbury and Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, where he attained an MA in law.
In May 2019, he was elected as one of three Liberal Democrat Members of the European Parliament for the London Region