Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday tabled the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019, in Lok Sabha that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.
Lok Sabha today debated and voted on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to profoundly alter how Indian citizenship will be determined by offering Indian nationality on grounds of ‘religious persecution’ to Hindus and other minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The Bill seeks to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act but has caused ruckus in the parliament with strong protests and sloganeering from Opposition leaders.
The bill has sharply divided political and intellectual opinion, with Congress, TMC, Left, other ‘secular’ parties like DMK, SP, BSP and RJD as well as liberal commentators opposing religion being a criterion for pointedly excluding Muslims.
On the other hand, BJP and right-wing opinion has drawn a distinction between a continuing process of non-Muslim population transfer since Partition and an illegal influx that threatens demographic and social balance.
Raising concerns over the move, Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury flagged the concerns of the bill and said, “It is nothing but targeted legislation for the minority people of our country.”
Refuting the claims, Shah said “the Bill is not even .001% against minorities in the country”.
So far the bill has got 293 yes and 82 Nos.
TMC MP Saugata Roy opposed the bill saying- “While abrogating Article 370, you said one law, one nation. Now you say, the Citizenship Bill will not include areas like Meghalaya, Tripura, Assam and Mizoram. The Bill is divisive. It is against everything and violates Article 14 of the Constitution.”
N. K. Premachandran, Revolutionary Socialist Party MP challenged the bill saying- “This is the first time in the history of India, that in order to acquire citizenship, the main factor is religion. This House has no legislature competence,”
Asaduddin Owaisi in his opposition appealed to the Speaker- “Save country from such a law&save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion.
Meanwhile, lakhs of people are protesting in many parts of the country opposing the citizenship Amendment Bill in Delhi, bangalore, West bengal and Assam.
In Asssam, massive protests erupted on December 6th opposing CAB. Protests on the streets, within various Government premises by various organizations, political parties, rights and social organizations. The clearance of CAB by the Union Cabinet has generated a huge discontent among people of Assamese nationality.
Protests erupted in New Delhi outside the Parliament, near jantar mantar and near mahatma Gandhi statue by various organsiation when CAB was introduced in the Parliament
A group of Indian scientists and scholars from within and without the country have released a note of protest against the draft Citizenship Amendment Bill.
They state that the bill violates the spirit of Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Over 750 scholars from around the world have signed the note, including the directors of three major research institutions: Sandip Trivedi (Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai), Rajesh Gopakumar (International Centre for Theoretical Sciences, Bengaluru) and Atish Dabholkar (International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Italy).