New Delhi: As the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 was on Monday tabled in Parliament, the Lok Sabha burst into heated arguments with the opposition calling the bill— anti-minority and going against the grain of the Indian Constitution. Rebuffing the claims, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Bill is neither a violation of any article of the constitution nor “.001% against minorities in the country”.
Attacking the Congress for calling the Citizenship Bill ‘a targeted legislation over minority people of our country’, Shah said that the bill was needed as the grand old party had divided the nation on religious lines during the Partition.
“Why do we need this Bill today? After independence, if Congress had not done partition on the basis of religion, then, today we would have not needed this Bill. Congress did partition on the basis of religion,” Shah fumed in Parliament.
Prior to that, leader of Indian National Congress in the 17th Lok Sabha– Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury– said the Bill is “nothing but a targeted legislation over minority people of our country”.
“Reasonable classification is done. I can discuss laws from across the world that talk about equality. If this is how we want to define equality, why doesn’t it apply to the minorities we are referring to? Please explain how minorities get special quota and status for things like education,” said Amit Shah on the opposition claims that the bill was violating Article 14 of the constitution.
Notably, Article 14 of the Indian Constitution 14 states, “Equality before law. The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.”
“In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains have been discriminated against. So this bill will give these persecuted people citizenship. Also, the allegation that this bill will take away rights of Muslims is wrong,” Shah asserted.
Further, the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 was on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha with 293 MPs voting in the favour, and 82 against it.
The citizenship bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who come to India due to religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan even if they don’t possess proper documents.