Nobel laureates Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo hoped that India will rethink its decisions about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The Nobel laureate couple came up with the expectation in an article in the Indian Express published on January 1.
"If you are not citizen of the country where you have lived all your life, and no one else wants you, who are you? And it is what many young people are upset about," wrote Banerjee and Duflo, co-founders of Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab.
The couple teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and won the Nobel Prize for economics in 2019, along with Michael Kremer.
Mentioning Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan in 2014 of "maximum governance minimum government", they said it had resonated with many voters who felt that the Indian government loomed too large in their lives while delivering too little to them.
They said it is worth thinking of the current debate about the CAA and the NRC through the lens of this idea. They noted that in the conversation about citizenship, "it seems to take as given that immigrants are a problem".
Indian Parliament approved the CAA on December 11, last year.
CAA provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
After the approval of the Act, a wide criticism spread for excluding Muslims.
The NRC is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented migrants. It was carried out in Assam. The final list excluded 1.9 million, or 6 percent of the state's population.
There have been massive protests against the CAA and the proposed NRC across India, resulting in the deaths of many people.
"… Why not open our doors to everyone who signs up in our national mission of being democratic, open, tolerant and inclusive? … We have 1.3 billion people — a few more millions would disappear in a flash in to that melting pot. And we would really be a lodestar for the world," Abhijit and Esther wrote.