India’s Citizenship Bill is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction, says US Commission for Religious Freedom

People stage a demonstration against National Register of Citizens (NRC) and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, or CAB, in Hyderabad IANS
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha and will be tabled in Rajya Sabha today.
  • The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has called it a dangerous turn.
  • The statement of the USCIRF also said that the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership, if the bill is passed in both houses.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has raised concerns about the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the lower house of the Indian Parliament.

“The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,” said USCIRF.

Today, the bill will be tabled in the Upper House of the parliament – the Rajya Sabha.

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“If the CAB passes in both houses of parliament, the United States government should consider sanctions against the Home Minister and other principal leadership,” said the official statement of the USCIRF.

The citizenship bill makes illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from ⁠— Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan eligible for citizenship. To apply for citizenship, one would have to reside in India for six years and continuously for the past 12 months.

However, the bill does not include Muslims which has become a point of contention and has sparked protests across the country, especially in the North Eastern state of Assam.

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“In conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and nationwide NRC that the Home Minister seeks to propose, USCIRF fears that the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip citizenship from millions of Muslims,” said the USCIRF.

See Also:
What is citizenship bill and how does it affect religious freedom in India?

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