Tamil Nadu

Leaders slam Citizenship Amendment Bill

AICC secretary Sanjay Dutt on Wednesday said the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) had created a negative perception worldwide about human rights in India and it was part of the Hindu Rashtra ideology propagated by the RSS.

Talking to reporters here on Wednesday, he said the CAB would give a new lease of life to the two- nation theory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah and Savarakar before Independence.

“The conception of India as a modern, secular and liberal republic was one of the greatest initiatives of the Congress government which sought to break away from the shackles of the colonial slavery and feudal past. Now the CAB has introduced a religious test for Indian citizenship which screams that Muslims are not welcome,” he said.

Mr Dutt said even if the BJP government manipulated the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha, it will not pass the test of the Constitution in the apex Court of the country. As per section 13 of the Constitution a state shall not make law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by the fundamental rights. The bill violates the freedom of religion and equality before law,” he said.

Mr Dutt also pointed out that the Bill was against the Assam Accord signed in 1985 in the wake of massive agitations against illegal Bangladesh immigrants.

“The accord states that all the immigrants who entered Assam from Bangladesh after March 25, 1971, were to be detected, deleted and irrespective of religion. The CAB naturalises into citizenship all non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh and defeats the very purpose for which the NRC was envisaged,” he said.

Alleging that the Bill had been introduced to shift people’s attention from the failure of BJP government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mr Dutt said the move was an assault on the idea of India.

He argued that if the object of the law was to grant sanctuary to prosecuted individuals it had failed since it had excluded Ahamediyas, Shias and the Balochas.

“This also excluded Tamils from Sri Lanka,” he said and urged the Centre to send the bill to the Select Committee for further discussion.

‘Don’t tamper with law’

Makkal Needhi Maiam founder and actor Kamal Haasan has opposed the CAB.

In a statement on Wednesday, he said the laws of the country shouldn’t be tampered with. “What the Centre is doing now with its announcements affecting our country’s existing laws and its plans under CAB is equivalent to conducting a surgery on an otherwise healthy person. What gumption, to think that only one sect of people will get to ‘qualify’ to live in India?” he asked.

He further said India was not a regressive country where old and redundant customs can be made to work forever.

“This is a new India, young India, which will do away with such unnecessary amendments to its laws. Mother India is safe,” he said.

On December 10, Mr. Haasan asked why Sri Lankan Hindus and troubled Sri Lankan Muslims were being excluded from the Bill.

“Why are Tamils subjected to methodic genocide and Muslims facing discrimination excluded from the Bill? If it’s a genuinely benevolent Bill and not a vote-garnering exercise, why won’t this CAB stop to pick up stranded Tamils and troubled Muslims of Sri Lanka?” he had asked.

VCK to protest

Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi founder Thol. Thirumavalavan announced a protest on Saturday in Chennai opposing in response to the Bharatiya Janata Party government passing the CAB. that excludes Muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh from obtaining citizenship.

In a statement, Mr. Thirumavalavan said that it is everyone’s responsibility to oppose this bill as it is against Article 14 of the Constitution that disallows any discrimination on the basis of religion, ethnicity, caste, language and gender.

“The BJP is trying to destroy the ethos of India, legally, using their strength in Parliament,” The country’s founders and architect of India’s constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, didn’t accept any divisions based on religion. But, BJP is trying to create it through legal means. This is dangerous,” he said.

He further questioned why refugees from Sri Lanka and Myanmar aren’t included in the bill. “The Bill says that Muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh will not get citizenship. But, Ahmaddiyas, Shias and rationalists have come to India as refugees fearing the majoritarian Islam there. It goes against the essence of this bill to exclude these groups,” he said.

Thirumavalavan further said that the bill discriminates Muslims on the basis of religion and Tamils on the basis of ethnicity.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 5:46:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/leaders-slam-citizenship-amendment-bill/article30280774.ece

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