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NEW DELHI: India’s controversial law on citizenship is causing the secular country a global embarrassment as it continues to call itself the world’s largest democracy.
The controversial act on citizenship had lead to nationwide riots, dozens of deaths and the arrest of hundreds of people across India. But why what is al the noise about? Let us break it down for you.
What is the controversial citizenship law?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was adopted by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019, amending the 1955 Citizenship Act by creating a route to Indian citizenship for representatives of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities who had escaped persecution before December 2014 from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. However, the act did not give Muslims such a residency status. The act was the first example of religion being openly used under Indian nationality law as a criterion for citizenship.
Indian opposition’s reaction to Citizenship law:
Opposition parties in India strongly condemned the act and said that the law is biased as it discriminates against the 1.3 billion Muslim citizens of the secular country. Muslims make up about 15 percent of the Indian population. Critics further argue the right to citizenship based on religion contradicts the secular values of India’s constitution.
Seven months after Modi swept to a second term, the law has stoked accusations at home and abroad that he wants to reshape India as a Hindu nation, which he denies. From the past many days the demonstration is going on against the citizenship act. Bollywood celebrities also came out and spoke about the matter strongly condemning the CAA. Actor Sushant Singh was one of the few to partake in the protests himself. Recently, one of the protests by students of Jamia Millia Islamia University took a dark turn when the police used violence and excessive force against the protesters.
As a parent and a citizen of india , I am deeply saddened by the unrest across various educational institutions of our country. I hope and pray for peace to return as soon as possible. Great teachers learn from their students. I salute the worlds youngest democracy.
— Hrithik Roshan (@iHrithik) December 18, 2019
If this is what’s gonna happen everytime a citizen expresses their view, forget #CAB, we should pass a bill and not call our country a democracy anymore! Beating up innocent human beings for speaking their mind? BARBARIC.
— Parineeti Chopra (@ParineetiChopra) December 17, 2019
My mother is a Hindu, my biological father was a Christian, my adopted father – a Muslim. In all official documents, my religion status stays blank. Does religion determine I am an Indian? It never did and I hope it never does. #OneIndia #India
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) December 18, 2019