New Delhi: Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) founder-president Kamal Haasan on Tuesday joined the anti-Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) bandwagon, wondering why Tamils and Muslims from Sri Lanka were left out of its ambit if it was a ‘genuinely benevolent legislation.’
The contentious bill, which has triggered protests across the northeast, will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday afternoon.
Raising questions on the bill, Kamal Haasan tweeted, “Why are Tamils who are subjected to a methodic genocide and Muslims facing discrimination, be excluded from the bill? If it’s a genuinely benevolent bill and not a vote garnering exercise, then why won’t this CAB stop to pick up stranded Tamils and troubled Muslims of Srilanka?”
Before the MNM chief, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar and noted lyricist Vairamuthu, too, urged the Centre to include Tamil refugees staying in India for over three decades on the list of minorities mentioned in the bill.
DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran, speaking in Lok Sabha on Monday, too, had raised a similar question. Tabled in the House by Union Home Minister Amit Shah earlier in the day, the bill eventually sailed through with a 311-80 majority, after a 12-hour-long fiery debate.
The CAB aims to grant Indian citizenship to members of religious minorities, i.e Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis, who came to India from Afghanistan/Bangladesh/Pakistan, before December 31, 2014, to escape religious persecution.
However, it is the exclusion of Muslims from the list of minorities which has triggered controversy, with critics arguing that a state cannot discriminate on the basis of religion while granting citizenship.