India’s Citizenship Amendment Act 2019
A Hindu Rashtra in the making?
Abdul Rasool Syed
Passage of the contentious bill titled “Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019” (CAB) by the Indian parliament has sparked violent protests throughout India. The bill as well as the intention behind has attracted scathing stricture from the people from all walks of life. It has, undoubtedly, shaken the very foundation of the Indian constitution and sounds a death knell to the democratic and secular identity of the ‘world’s largest democracy’.
Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019—now an Act—has attracted strong opposition because it is discriminatory; exclusively towards Muslims. “Not only is the Bill discriminatory, it wreaks havoc on the very foundations of our Constitution,” Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said in the Lok Sabha. He added: “This is a step towards forming a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ as imagined by the RSS and BJP.”
India’s Citizenship Act of 1955 bars illegal migrants from acquiring Indian citizenship. An illegal migrant is a foreigner who enters the country without valid travel documents, e.g. passport and visa, or enters with valid documents but stays beyond the permitted time period. However, the “Citizenship Amendment Bill” of 2019 has introduced the following changes in the Citizenship Act of 1955.
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