Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » India

"Idea of Pakistan": Tharoor as Modi cabinet clears Citizenship Amendment Bill

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said his party's vision for a country is for everybody irrespective of religion

Wednesday December 4, 2019 6:45 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Protest against CAB

New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, calling it "fundamentally unconstitutional" and contending that it violates the basic idea of India.

Tharoor's remarks came hours after the Modi Cabinet gave its nod for the Bill that seeks to provide Indian nationality to everyone except Muslims but including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

"The Idea of Pakistan"

"I think the Bill is fundamentally unconstitutional as basic idea of India has been violated in it. Those who believe that religion should determine nationhood... that was the idea of Pakistan. They created Pakistan", Tharoor said while talking to media in Parliament premises.

"We have always argued that our idea of nation was what Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji, Maluana Azad, Dr Ambedkar have said... that religion cannot determine nationhood," he added.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said his party's vision for a country is for everybody irrespective of religion.

"Every citizen should have equal rights in this country", he said.

The Congress leader said that the Bill, which amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants in select categories eligible for citizenship, "undermines" the fundamental tenet of the Constitution.

"At odds with the Constitution"

The Bill has been attacked by the Opposition, minority outfits and others for leaving out the Muslims and also on the ground that it is at odds with the Constitution, which does not differentiate between citizens on the basis of their faith.

The Bill is now expected to be tabled in Parliament next week.

Drastic Shift from the Original Law

This is a drastic shift from the provisions of the Citizenship Act of 1955 that labels a person an "illegal immigrant" if he or she has entered India without travel documents or has overstayed the date specified in the documents.

In the last winter session, the Lok Sabha had passed the Bill. As the Bill awaited passage in the Rajya Sabha, it had lapsed after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The opposition had then raised objections against the proposed amendments, which exclude Muslims and minorities from Nepal and Sri Lanka.

North East Exempted

In another indication that the Bill has ulterior motives, the Modi government exempted North East regions from the jurisdiction of the Bill. There are reports that before the Modi cabinet met to pass the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill that led to widespread protests in the entire North-East in run-up to the 2019 general election, there was a hush-hush meeting In New Delhi's Assam Bhawan.

At least nine representatives from four organisations met Home Minister Amit Shah where he is believed to have comforted them with an assurance that the unique identity of the North-East will not be altered in exchange for a promise that the groups will not protest the amended Bill.

Sources say one of the ways in which Shah would have allayed their fears is by reassuring them that the draft of the Bill would exclude the North-East.

The four organisations that met Shah were Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill (MANPAC), Zeliangrong Union (Assam, Manipur, Nagaland unit), The North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) and Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM)'s Imphal Unit.

Meanwhile, Assam continues to reel under strong protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

For all the latest News, Opinions and Views, download ummid.com App.

Select Language To Read in Urdu, Hindi, Marathi or Arabic.

Share this page

 Post Comments
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com