India’s New Citizenship Act Discriminatory Towards Muslims

by Promod Puri

There have been some severe and quick fundamental transformations taking place in India to reweave the social and secular fabric of the nation.

In this operation, the country’s citizenship act has been stoked to allow only non-Muslims, migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan for permanent residency.

This is where the problem erupted and escalating to angry protests all over the country and triggering strong condemnation across the globe.

The Citizenship Amendment Act was passed in both houses of Parliament early this month. In the majority ruled Bhartiya Janata Party coalition, prime minister Narendra Modi’s trusted lieutenant Home Minister Amit Shah delivered the controversial changes.

The changes are clearly discriminatory both in its spirit and practice. It lays the path for non-secular India to make Muslims feel outcaste. They can’t be part of saffron India conceived in the Hindutva frame.

“If Hindus in Pakistan want to move to India, why not Muslim in India go to Pakistan,” was one anti-Muslim post I recently noticed on the social media.

That is the mood the BJP and its ‘Parivar’ are catering to meet their longstanding agenda of a theocratic and monolithic “Hindu Rashtra.”

The very notion of such a state violates the fundamentals of the Indian constitution as a secular nation in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society. India, unlike Pakistan, was not envisioned as a purely Hindu state at the time of the partition in 1947. The commitment to the secular character of the nation was authored and signed by its first law minister, Dr. Ambedkar.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, along with another BJP government trap, the National Register of Citizens, sends out a clear message that Muslims are being segregated to be second-class citizens in a country where ethnic and religious equality is enshrined in its constitution.

India is the home of the third-largest population (10.9 %) of Muslims in the world after Indonesia (12.7 %) and Pakistan (11.0 %).

The idiotic argument of “go to Pakistan” is racist, anti-national, and anti-constitutional. This is the same constitution upon which the BJP lawmakers and their partners offered their pledge to uphold its fundamentals of secularism.


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