The citizenship amendment bill seeks to amend the clauses of 1955 law to provide citizenship for any person belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian religion from India's three neighbouring countries namely Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, the bill vows to provide shelter for all the persecuted minorities of these neighbouring countries. Amidst wide uproar in the Lok Sabha with many parties fervidly opposing the bill, the bill got passed from the house and is yet to be tabled in Rajya Sabha i.e. the upper house of the parliament. We will see in this article why this bill is very dangerous for a country like India which vows to uphold its democratic ideals from time to time.
1. The bill asserts the monstrous idea of two-nation theory by Jinnah :
This bill which only excludes Muslims from coming to India and getting its citizenship clearly ignores the grounds on which refugees are accepted throughout the world, no country in this world accepts refugees on the basis of their religious beliefs, race or ethnicity, moreover the countries who welcome refugees fix their sole criteria of persecution to come as refugees, while this bill recognises the persecution of non-Muslims it clearly ignores the plight of section of Muslims such as Ahmadiyya, Shia and Baloch in Pakistan and Rohingyas in Myanmar which equally face discrimination and persecution within their countries. The other thing which has to be said that, while Pakistan was formed on religious grounds, India chose to uphold its secular and liberal values, and all the citizens irrespective of any religion were welcome to live in India, thus this bill only promotes the two-nation theory which was vehemently opposed by our founding fathers such as Gandhi, Nehru and Ambedkar.
2. The bill violates the ideals of India’s Constitution-
We have already seen BJP MPs make unconstitutional statements all the time be it praising Godse or proclaiming India as a Hindu Rashtra, however, the acts of the government only uphold these statements and give a nationwide boost in their morals to unconstitutional elements in the country, this citizen amendment bill does the same with its discriminatory provisions violating Article 14 of the Indian Constitution which provides for equality to all citizens irrespective of their identities, this bill with giving refugees citizenship on the basis of their religious identities clearly violates Article 14 and dampens the spirit of secular values of the country.
3. This bill seems only a pre-planned strategy of BJP to garner votes and distract citizens from real issues
BJP government with on one hand saying that infiltrators would be thrown out from the country through NRC, shows bigotry on other hand accepting refugees from neighbouring countries at a time when the economic growth is at its clingy footfall with inflation growing day after another and unemployment being highest since 45 years, instead of addressing issues concerning the citizens of India the government chooses to look away in the time of despair and need. The government fails to note that while there is a large population in India to be paid attention on it is only concerned about the well being of foreign citizens, what BJP is looking for is a major vote bank in those refugees who would be ready to vote by 2020 as said by Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament.
4. The Bill will affect ethnicity and the indigenous population of North- Eastern states
- As we know that northeastern states have long fought battles to protect their culture and ethnicity from foreign people and had the Assam accord on 15 Aug 1985 to detect , deport and detain all the illegal foreign immigrants from their states, this amendment bill clearly spills all the waters on those people's long fought struggles for the Assam accord, since they do not want any immigrant to come and mix with their population and disturb their cultural ethos , however the bill provides inner line permit to protect the states from such situations, it is also not more than a batant farce because the bill nowhere has a clause to stop the new citizens from settling in to these new geographical vantages, thus this bill is clearly a violation to the Assam Accord and the sentiments of northeastern people.
While many people are celebrating the passage of the bill and are rejoicing, the people of this country have to choose what they want, they have to choose if they want a enriching welfare state or a government who only boasts of success which if closely looked doesn’t mean anything to citizens of India, with India fighting with its worst phases of economic slowdown, unemployment, disrupt law and order and a war on India’s ideological values, the citizens of India have to wake up and speak out, so that governments know that the citizens know them and they know their bigotry.