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Indian Crackdown on Muslim Asylum Applicants Causes Constitutional Crisis

By: Politicized News

· Global Affairs

India’s brand new Citizen Amendment Bill passed yesterday in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Parliament, with a final vote of 125 to 105. Now, the bill will go straight to the desk of Indian President Ram Nath Kovind, where it will become law if signed.

The CAB effectively makes steps towards the naturalization process more difficult for Muslims. An official from the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that “the bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries.” More specifically, the bill allows the fast-tracking of citizenship obtainment for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who are fleeing religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan, or Afghanistan. Quite noticeably, the bill includes every major religion from across South-East Asia: with the blatant exception of Islam.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran on a platform of right-wing, Hindu nationalism when he was re-elected for a second term in May of 2019, and the CAB is a clear continuation of that agenda. Despite this, Mr. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) claims that the bill seeks to protect human rights.
The two founding leaders of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohandas K. Gandhi, established the nation to be a secular state, but Prime Minister Modi has long eroded those founding principles in order to push for the establishment of a Hindu-homeland. Thus, opposers to the CAB argue that the bill is one step in Modi’s larger goal of leading India towards theocracy in which the 200 million Muslim Indians become second-class citizens.
Massive protests have popped up across the country, unified with one major plea: “Save the constitution, scrap the CAB,” a slogan which underlines this violation of India’s founding principles.
Despite the massive escalation of protest violence with 26 military columns deployed to Assam, thousands of detainments, and two fatalities, Mr. Modi’s response to the outrage has been minimal, with a few tweets over the past 24 hours assuring terrified Muslim citizens that they have “nothing to worry about.”

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