Com­pared to Nazis

Muscat Daily - - WORLD -

Guwa­hati, In­dia -

In­dia’s lower house passed the bill just af­ter mid­night fol­low­ing a fiery de­bate that saw one Mus­lim MP com­pare the gov­ern­ment to the Nazis.

Once law, it will make it much eas­ier for Hin­dus, Sikhs, Bud­dhists, Jains, Par­sis, and Chris­tians flee­ing Afghanista­n, Bangladesh and Pak­istan to be­come In­di­ans.

Modi’s gov­ern­ment says Mus­lims from these three coun­tries are ex­cluded be­cause they can choose to go to other Mus­lim coun­tries.

Also ex­cluded are other mi­nori­ties flee­ing po­lit­i­cal or re­li­gious per­se­cu­tion else­where, such as Tamils from Sri Lanka, Ro­hingya from Myan­mar and Ti­betans from China.

‘This bill is in line with In­dia’s cen­turies old ethos of as­sim­i­la­tion and be­lief in hu­man­i­tar­ian val­ues’, Modi tweeted.

“I say this again and again that this bill has noth­ing to do with the Mus­lims in this coun­try,” Home Min­is­ter Amit Shah told par­lia­ment.

Shah has stoked fur­ther fears among In­dia’s Mus­lims with his aim to con­duct a na­tion­wide Na­tional Reg­is­ter of Cit­i­zens (NRC) that he says will see all ‘in­fil­tra­tors’ iden­ti­fied and ‘ex­pelled’ by 2024.

On Mon­day, al­most 1,200 sci­en­tists and schol­ars at in­sti­tu­tions in In­dia and abroad pub­lished a joint let­ter ex­press­ing their ‘dis­may’ at the leg­is­la­tion, say­ing the con­sti­tu­tion called for mem­bers of all faiths to be treated equally.

The move also evoked sharp re­ac­tions from in­ter­na­tional groups, with an in­flu­en­tial US body call­ing for sanc­tions on Shah and other key play­ers of the pro­posed law.

The US Com­mis­sion on In­ter­na­tional Re­li­gious Free­dom in a state­ment termed the bill as a ‘dan­ger­ous turn in the wrong di­rec­tion’, that to­gether with the pro­posed Na­tional Reg­is­ter of Cit­i­zens, aims to cre­ate a re­li­gious test for In­dian cit­i­zen­ship that would strip cit­i­zen­ship from mil­lions of Mus­lims.

In­dia’s For­eign Min­istry on Tues­day re­torted say­ing the US group’s re­marks were ‘nei­ther ac­cu­rate nor war­ranted’ and ‘guided by their prej­u­dices and bi­ases’.

The Euro­pean Union’s Am­bas­sador to In­dia Ugo As­tuto also ex­pressed the bloc’s con­cerns, say­ing he hoped ‘the prin­ci­ple of equal­ity en­shrined in the In­dian Con­sti­tu­tion will be up­held’.


Peo­ple burn tyres dur­ing a strike called by the North East Stu­dents’ Or­ga­ni­za­tion against the Cit­i­zen­ship Amend­ment Bill, in Guwa­hati on Tues­day

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