"Against BR Ambedkar's Dream": Mayawati Opposes Citizenship Amendment Bill

Cheryl Sanders
December 7, 2019

The bill provides for granting Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who have come from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan up to December 31, 2014 following religious persecution in their respective countries.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian illegal migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship of India.

The controversial Bill is likely to be tabled in the parliament next week and the government is expected to instruct all BJP MPs to be present during the voting.

Following a meeting with Amit Shah and several politicians and activists of Northeast states, including the chief minister of Mizoram over the Bill, he told the reporters that a lot of confusion has been eliminated.

BJP leaders are quite confident of its smooth passage as they are hopeful of getting the support of the JD (U), the AIADMK, among others, in the Rajya Sabha. It will now have to be passed by both Houses in order to become a law.

The Bill has been opposed vehemently by opposition parties like Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD and the Left and even regional parties like BJD have expressed reservations. "You can not have two laws on citizenship in the country".

For all others about whom the bleeding hearts' are complaining, Indian citizenship laws are there. This may violate Constitution's Article 14 which guarantees right to equality. "I wish they had allowed no appeal as once lawyers are involved delays are bound to occur", said Mathew Cherian, chief executive officer of HelpAge India.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's daughter Sana Iltija Javed, who is now handling Mehbooba Mufti's social media accounts in view of the latter's detention, condemned the approval of the Citizenship Amendment Bill by the Union cabinet on Wednesday, terming it as an indication that the country's BJP-led central government discriminates against those from the Muslim community.

Apart from stoking unease among Muslims, the proposed changes have also provoked anger in north-east India that for decades has seen major influxes of people of different religions - including Hindus.

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