Popular Front demands withdrawal of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

The National Executive Council of Popular Front of India demanded immediate withdrawal of the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 since it violates basic democratic and secular ethos enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It has also urged all secular parties to expose and oppose the communal motive of BJP government behind the Bill, which is currently before the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

The Citizenship Act, 1955 now in force denies citizenship rights to any illegal migrant. This law is applicable to all persons irrespective of religion, caste, creed, race etc. By the new amendment to the Citizenship Act, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians migrated from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are exempted from the purview of ‘illegal migrants’. A district magistrate can grant them Indian citizenship on the simple criterion that they have been in India for six years. By this new provision, the conditions to get Indian citizenship, which were stringent for people of foreign origin, have now been made very liberal.

It is evident that the real motive of the BJP is to project themselves as saviours of Hindus even beyond India territory. The exclusion of Muslims, and only Muslims from the benefit of the law, makes it clear that they are depicted as threat to India and its people in an indirect way. According the spirit of secular Indian constitution, citizenship cannot be made religion-specific. It is explicitly against Article 14 of the Constitution, which guarantees equality before law to all citizens irrespective of their religion. It goes without saying that Non-Muslim minorities from some Muslim countries are the only refugees aimed to be protected by our nation. In fact it can only be viewed as a step towards converting India into a Hindu Rashtra by subverting the Indian Constitution. This can be termed as Ghar Wapasi law. If such calculated efforts get succeeded, our nation will be degraded as an apartheid and fanatic country, second only to Israel, which at present is the only nation sheltering migrants belonging to particular faith.

Consequent to enactment of this bill, the situation in Assam will become more volatile because all the Hindu immigrants from Bangladesh will get Indian citizenship. And it will accelerate the deportation or detention of all Bengali speaking Muslims there.

Chairman E Abubacker presided. General Secretary Muhammed Ali Jinnah, Secretaries Abdul Wahid Sait, Anis Ahamed, Treasurer Muhammed Shahabudheen and others participated in discussions.

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