Citizenship Amendment Bill: a blatant discrimination against Muslims
By : Obaid Ullah Hamzah
The lower house of India passed a controversial bill to grant citizenship to religious minorities except Muslims from neighboring countries Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The new citizenship law allows Indian citizenship to “persecuted “minorities-Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from these three countries. 311 members of parliament voted in favor of the measure despite concerns the bill violates the spirit of India’s secular constitution which guarantees the right to equality. The citizenship amendment bill seeks to amend 1955 law is discriminatory , In what critics say is a fresh attempt to sidelines the nearly 200 million strong Muslim community.
According to many Indian intellectuals, it is a fundamentally unconstitutional piece of legislation.
The CAB was first introduced in 2016 by the BJP government of Prime Minister Modi but was withdrawn after an alliance partner withdrew support and protest flared in India’s remote and ethnically diverse northeast region.
In fact, fears in the minds of 200 million Muslims in India came true since the BJP won the election in 2014 because of its extremist policies marginalize them in the very country which they ruled over 800 years and for which they, along with fellow countrymen Hindus fought British occupation for decades.
They believe that the law aimed at granting citizenship to Hindus from backdoor whose names are not recorded in NRC while Muslims will remain stateless. This satanic attitude is no more a secret matter. The motive is to legitimize the citizenship of all those non –Muslims who may be declared as illegal immigrants as per the NRC. In India, 45% of population either unlettered or live in remote villages where no official papers or documents are usually kept, it would be difficult for them to prove that they or their ancestors had been there since 1971 .
India claims to be the largest democracy in the world, but under BJP’s political rule it has become a highly divided and polarized society . No society is strong in disunity and India’s strength lies in unity through diversity.
We would like to raise the same question which Malyasian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad raised during the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019. “People are dying because of this law. Why is there a necessity to do this when all the while for 70 years, they have lived together as citizens without any problem? The United Nations has called the CAA “fundamentally discriminatory”.
We urge all the Muslim countries to use all available sources and channels in order to help our Indian Muslims – the largest Muslim minority in the world- to live in their own country with equal rights and dignified way. We do not want them to face any situation like that of the Rohingyas and Chinese Igor Muslims.