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A Circus Called Citizenship
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A Circus Called Citizenship

Citizenship Amendment Bill

Earlier in the year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, plead to the global world to abide by the value of unity and brotherhood, by invoking the significance of VasudevKutambakam in his address.

VasudevKutumbakam is the philosophy of the entire world being anintegrated, cohesive family, and people from all religions, castes, and creeds, its members. The philosophy finds its roots in the Sanskrit text of the Maha Upanishad, which contains the core ideas and values of Hinduism.

Recently, however, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has illustrated how the words of its leader—also the Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world—hold absolutely no congruence with the party’s actions.

On December 8th, Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the controversial and blatantly discriminatory Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the lower house of the Parliament, which is yet to go to the President for his assent. The Bill seeks to open doors to the minority communities from the three neighboring countries of Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. It tends to provide citizenship to six communities – Christians, Hindus, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, and Buddhist. The citizenship is merely based on religion and faith, keeping in observance that Muslims are not listed – Muslims who number 200 million and comprise of 14% of the Hindu-majority country. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha with a bulk of 311 votes against 80; supported by JD(U), SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress. The notion of a modern and secular country, built on the pillars of equality, has been toppled; it is redefining the idea of India.

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