The Union Cabinet, on 4 December, gave its nod to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Bill, amending the Citizenship Act, 1955, to make illegal migrants in select categories eligible for citizenship, has been attacked by the Opposition, minority outfits and others for leaving out Muslims, on grounds of it being at odds with the Constitution which endorses secularism.
Yogendra Yadav spoke to The Quint and expressed his disappointment with the Bill and about how it is opposed to the idea of ‘India’.
"“A law that defines citizenship is a law that defines the character of your nation. This Bill is a violation to our Constitution because it violates the preamble of our Constitution. It violates the right to religious equality. But above all, it is against the very idea of India.” " - Yogendra Yadav, Activist & Political Analyst
He believes the Bill to be a “poor imitation of Pakistan”.
"“This Bill is a very poor imitation of Pakistan. My question to all those who are supporting the Bill is that: Do you really think that Pakistan is such a great country that we should follow it? Haven’t we demonstrated in the last 70 years that the idea of India is stronger than the idea of Pakistan?”" - Yogendra Yadav, Activist & Political Analyst
The Bill has been opposed vehemently by Opposition parties such as Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, RJD, the Left and has even roused apprehension by regional parties like BJD.
The Bill has prompted resentment in the northeast, and indications of the government working out a compromise to reassure states in the region of the implications of granting citizenship to a large number of Hindus who’ve come from Bangladesh over the decades, are evident.
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