Protest over the horrendous citizenship (amendment) act spread across India demanding e to revoke the Act. The bill that is now an Act makes it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants from India’s neighbours – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – to become citizens of India. Though the Bill doesn’t spell it out clearly, but the fact that it entitles Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians facing religious persecution in the three nations, to seek Indian citizenship, highlights the exclusion of Muslims.
The Act says the refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of 11 years earlier. Thousands of protesters, including students took to the streets across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act with demonstrations at campuses of Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, Delhi University and others amid heavy police deployment.
Ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and opposition Congress headed UDF in Kerala held a joint protest against the amended Citizenship act with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan slamming the move as an attempt to “curb freedom”.
The Opposition has claimed that the Act was against the basic principles of the Constitution as it “discriminates” on the basis of religion and would alienate Muslims, the largest minority community in the country. The opposition also objected to keeping countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar out of the list.
The bill was violative of the provisions of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 and 26 of the Constitution, it was alleged.