India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill: a Death Knell for Indian Secularism

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print
8ac5d214508c4f918d03ff04492a63a0_18
The Gordian: sign up and get our monthly magazine.

In December 2019 the Government of India, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), secccesfully amended a bill to the Citizenship Act of 1955, offering amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants, who arrived in India prior to 2004. These immigrants must be able to prove that they are citizens of one of the three neighbouring countries: Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan. 

Half the truth is often a whole lie

Spokespeople of the Indian Government have repeatedly claimed that the new law intends to give sanctuary to people fleeing religious persecution. While this is certainly the case, the dubious decision to exclude Muslim refugees from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and China; or in fact, the Hindu Tamils from Sri Lanka, raises questions about the Government’s sincerity. The timing of the bill is also not inadvertent; In August, the Assam State, located in the North-East of the country, witnessed two million of its residents left off the Citizen Register; this essentially left thousands of people, suspected of being illegal residents, in temporary camps which are housed in the state’s prisons. Modi and his Home Minister, Amit Shah, the mastermind behind the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), have been eroding and attacking the social identity of the Indian Muslim community from as early as 1992 and the CAB was undoubtedly brought forth with an intent to adversely affect the political identities of this community. 

The BJP’s records alone are enough to back such claims: In December 1992, a baying mob of Hindu fanatics, led by the then BJP leader, Lal Krishna Advani, tore down the Babri Mosque because they wanted to build a temple on the site. The then Minister of Home affairs, Narendra Modi, and his party came under massive criticism for their reluctance to contain the Hindu mobs. Lal Krishna Advani’s political views were certainly anti-secular, but he drastically failed to radicalise the more moderate members within his party. However now, after five years in office, as a majority party  governing from 2014 to 2019, the party has disgracefully hijacked the very idea of India and paved the way for its theocratisation. One almost forgets that it was only in 1947 that Pakistan was created because India refused to discriminate against its citizens on the basis of religion.

Emboldened by the support for its nationalistic policies the BJP will continue with its divisive politics and Modi is likily to transform India into a majoritarian polity that is against everything that Gahndi stood for.

Take ownership of UN-aligned

Unlike most organisations, UN-aligned is, primarily, its members. We are the New United Nations and though just a drop in the ocean, for now, we will carry on growing until we will become a force to be reckoned with!

The more of us there are, the more chance we have of achieving our aims. Help us by promoting membership to you friends or to people you think have similar values. If every member added another, membership would snowball and we would be unstoppable!

We also need active members: people who roll up their sleeves and contribute to the work of the organisation. Some already have, for instance, by writing articles for The Gordian, or offering to help with proofreading.

No matter what you can do, we want you. Write to us with your talents and we’ll make it work. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Related

The social ills equation… Minus inevitability

“Disaster… it could happen to anyone.” Think about it too much and you will go mad: that endless list of slings and arrows. Yes, it could happen to anyone, but it is best to plod along as though it could never happen to us. Perhaps they deserved it. Karma. Their suffering is like a parallel universe: it need never touch us…

In this issue of The Gordian, we cover various social issues ranging from rough sleeping to poverty. 

This issue contains exclusive reports by, our literary editor, Alex Liberto, and other UN-aligned members, namely Jay DavisandCarla Pietrobattista. The editors are Adrian Liberto and Ariana Yekrangi.

Hello!

Login to your account
Are you a new user? Sign up

Subscribe to the The Gordian magazine and more...

The Gordian is the official UN-aligned magazine. It is a round-up of global news, opinions and long reads accompanied by striking photography. It also keeps you updated about UN-aligned’s progress and impact in the real word.

We promise not to spam your inbox.  Find how we use your information.

Or become a free member.

UN-aligned uses cookies to make this website better.