Citizenship Amendment Bill - the blunder that thunders!

Citizenship Amendment Bill- the latest sharpened spear of the duo of Modi and Shah that had stabbed the will of the Indian constitution and its fundamental rights guaranteed for everyone regardless of caste, religion, sex, color, race and, creed. By amending the bill with the pack of inequality, the Central government has blemished and wrecked the pillars of democracy, republic and black-painted the preamble of the Indian constitution. 

(L-R) Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the party's victory celebrations in 2019 Lok Sabha elections - File photo


To be more precise, this Citizenship bill has backtracked the nation with a worsening human rights record. By ascertaining the citizenship based on the religion, it's now become 'Right to Equality vs India' and had kept our country far away from what we are claiming to a democratic, socialist, sovereign, secular and republic country. Is Modi-Shah duo pedaling the country back through the alleged authoritarianism? Seemingly...and the recently passed citizenship bill in Lok Sabha echoes that and pictures the failing state by oiling the unrest and protests across the nation.

What's the background and why India is so concerned about the bill?

It was one of the controversial poll promises by the BJP led National Democratic Alliance during 2019 General elections along with the abrogation of special status in Kashmir and building Ram temple in the disputed land of Ayodhya and they have kept their promises after sweeping the elections with huge mandate and Amit Shah, who was one of the strongest voices at the campaign trail, has been playing with the majority to clear the poll promises. He succeeded in revoking the special status from Kashmir and will succeed in devoting a temple for Lord Ram in Ayodhya and here comes the other one...The Citizenship Amendment Bill, that was crafted and drafted with biased equality to attain the party's goal of 'One Nation, One Religion' by fouling all the parameters and defying the constitution - from where the majoritarianism gets the fullest shape as 'authoritarianism'.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks about the bill in Lok Sabha


On Monday, Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill that was tabled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah as the majority MPs of the lower house have voted in favor of the bill, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship and provides the status of Indian national for the non-Muslim refugees of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who fled their countries after facing series of religious persecution and suppression at their homeland. By consenting the legislation that amends the Citizenship Act 1955, the bill would induct Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis who migrated to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan till December 31st, 2014 as Indian citizens by revoking their identities as 'illegal immigrants'. The bill has got 311 votes in favor while 80 MPs have voted against it. During the passage, the Lok Sabha witnessed the heated arguments between Amit Shah and the opposition members and despite the ruckus from the opposition, which named the amendment as 'regressive', Amit Shah has claimed that the bill was not against the minorities of the country.

The opposition parties, that have come together beyond the party lines to oppose the amendment and to voice the concern of the country, have said that the legislation reportedly violates Article 14 of the constitution which carries the provision of 'Right to Equality'. Congress party, which captained the ruckus, said that the citizenship cannot be awarded under the grounds of religion. Lok Sabha Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdury has stated that the bill is nothing but targeted legislation over minority people of the country. Senior Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said that the legislation violates the basic idea of India that religion can never be a reason for citizenship. West Bengal's Trinamool Congress party has branded the bill as a divisive and unconstitutional.

Does the Center had logic behind the passage?

Most of the critics noted that there was zero logic, despite the BJP led Central government claimed that the bill was not against the minorities. By keeping the claim aside, it's certain that the bill would neither protect all religious minorities nor does it apply to all neighboring countries. While inducting the refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, the bill literally or intentionally ignored the suppressed and threatened minorities living in Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Myanmar houses Rohingya Muslims and Hindus who are minorities and have been reportedly persecuted by the armed forces so does the minority Tamil people in Sri Lanka, who have living under the drones and camps of the army and still waiting for Justice - while questioned about these ignorances, the government seemingly slipped away.

Why huge uproar from the parties and from the people?

On one hand, the opposition parties had quaked the floors of Lok Sabha, on the other hand, the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill had ignited series of protests outside the Parliament, in Delhi and across the nation. Indian Union Muslim League MPs protested in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the premises of the Parliament and the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) staged demonstrations at Jantar Mantar and carried placards and raised slogans against the bill by calling it as against the idea of India and the seven Northeastern states, which known for its peace and beauty, had hosted a series of protests. 

MPs of Northeastern states protest against the bill in the premises of the Parliament


The protesters, largely students, staged protests and bandhs in the states. Their primary concern is that the BJP government has allegedly attempting to change the demography of the region by increasing the population of Hindus. The protests were based on the fear and anxiety expressed by the tribal and the indigenous people who fear that their lives and their states would be replaced by the Hindus who fled from Bangladesh.

People of Assam holding placards to voice against the amendment of the Citizenship bill


The Central Government with its majority has passed the bill in Lok Sabha by muting the voices and outcry from the people, as always and expected to clear the floor of Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. Eventually, passing such a bill, the government has failed to defend the fundamental rights of the constitution and shut down the channels of democracy. Refugees don't have religion so does equality and integrity. This bill possesses a huge threat to national integrity and sends one simple and handicapped message that ' Muslims are not welcomed in Modi's India'.