Narendra Modi led government has been facing criticism from many quarters for two reasons. The first allegation is that BJP practices discrimination against the Muslims and the other charge is the violation of Article 14 of the Constitution in bringing the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Let’s take up the issue one by one.
Violation of Article 14
Article 14 of the Indian Constitution espouses for equality before the law without any discrimination on the basis of religion, caste, sex and creed. Experts believe that the CAB is a violation of Article 14 as it is discriminatory against the Muslim refugees.
CAB – a plot against Muslims
The Bill has recognised the non-Muslim migrants from neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and welcomed them for citizenship in India within a course of time. Experts believe that CAB is a shrewd plot by the present government to make the Muslims of the country ‘B’ grade citizens. Although BJP has expressed that it follows Hindutva without discriminating against Muslims and other minorities of the nation.
Attack on Indian secularism
The Citizenship Amendment Bill has provided relaxation to six religious minority groups namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
They will be eligible to apply for Indian citizenship if they have spent six years in the country, but Muslims immigrants who came to this country like the non-Muslims are left out in this list. The question arises why this discrimination against the largest minority of the country is? Citizenship Bill is an open violation of Article 14 of the Constitution as well as an attack on the secularism of the country.
6 communities get minorities status
Who are the minorities in India? The Union government, by the notification in 1993 and 2014 has declared six religious communities as minorities – Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Jains. However, the term “minorities” has not been mentioned in the Indian Constitution.
Article 29, 30 rights of minorities
Article 29 and 30 of the Constitution stand for the protection of the minorities in the country. Article 29 states “Any Section of the citizens residing in the territory of India or any part thereof, having a distinct language, script or culture of its own, shall have the right to conserve the same”.
While article 30 provides for the right of the minorities “based on religion or language, to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice”. Therefore, these two Articles guarantee the safety of minorities language, religion and culture of the country.
Hindus population gone down
The Citizenship Bill has raised the eyebrows of the people of all walks of life not only in India but across the world. Is this Bill a step in the direction of Hindu Rashtra? Union home minister Amit Shah disagreed with this version and claimed that the population of Hindus has decreased in recent years. In 1991, 81 per cent of Hindus were in India, but it has gone down to 79 per cent.
Muslims not in list
Clarifying on why the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill provided for the protection of only Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, and not Muslims from the neighbouring nations, the home minister claimed that since all three countries were Islamic, the Muslims don’t face persecution in these countries.
Sri Lankan Hindus excluded
Opposition members are raising their voice against CAB. Senior Congress leader Chidambaram raised several questions over the Bill. “Why have you included only six religions like Hindu, Sikhs, Buddhists and left out the Ahmadiyyas and Hazaras?” he asked. He further stated why the Sri Lankan Hindus and Bhutanese Christians were left out.
Violence erupts in Northeast
Meanwhile, protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has erupted violently in some states of Northeast on Wednesday. The Union government has decided to shift additional 5,000 CRPF troops to these regions. A fierce protest is also going on in Assam and Tripura over the Bill.
The country is passing through an economic crunch. People are losing their jobs, malnutrition is rampant and hunger and homelessness have increased in the recent time. The prices of common commodities are skyrocketing but our leaders are deaf ear to these vital issues. These are the core issues which need an immediate attention but unfortunately, the present government is just trying to deviate the people’s mind from the core issues to remain in power in Centre.