Citizenship Amendment Act: Constitutionalism upheld to the hilt      

The Government of India after considerable analysis of the grave situation and the religious persecution faced by the religious minorities in the neighbouring countries, brought the following amendment in the Citizenship Act of 1955 and has also duly taken care of the North Eastern States by limiting the applicability in the respective States in clear terms of Sec 6(b) 4.

In the Citizenship Act, 1955 (hereinafter referred to as the principal Act), in section 2, in sub-section (1), in clause (b), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:

“Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014 and who has been exempted by the Central Government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946 or any rule or order made there under, shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act;”.

History unveils itself and none can claim these facts as concocted, when India retained its character as a Nation, graced with its inherent qualities, inherited from its rich and diverse past, which essentially included protecting its minorities, Pakistan became a synonym for religious persecution of its minorities. The religious minorities faced, severe persecution based on their religious identity, the places of worship, their lives were all left on the altar of mercy of the majoritarian Islamic State. When we look into the very genesis of  the Pakistan, it’s a state born out of immense hatred and enmity to the fellow beings, it’s very birth is rooted in a separate religious identity, it’s fathers, propagated that they could never  live with the Hindus and essentially there has to be a division of the population on religious lines. India, retained its rich culture of preserving diversities, while no such attempts took place in Pakistan, resulting in the concretizing, of a more hardened Islamic Country. As the Islamic identity of Pakistan kept on hardening under various regimes it had, the minorities of Pakistan, especially the Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Hindus were at the receiving end. The “right to life” degraded, the rampant forceful religious conversions of Christians and the Hindus, the attacks on the religious worship places of Christians and the Hindus and the other minorities, made life hell.

The brutal killing of Afghanistan’s former President Najibullah by Taliban after abducting him from the custody of United Nations, the subsequent targeting of Bamiyan Buddha statues, the world’s largest standing Buddha statues, were examples of religious hatred in neighbouring countries, Najibullah had even tried to seek asylum in India but his attempt failed. It can be imagined by any person of average intellect, if statues of Lord Budhha are not left alone, will the living beings of these minority Buddhists, be allowed to live there?  The genocidal action in these neighbouring countries had even touched the Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too had strongly advocated a liberal approach in granting citizenship to the persecuted minorities in these neighbouring countries if circumstance demands, in the light of said statement, the present hue and cry over the Citizenship Amendment Bill by a section of opposition parties are all sound and fury signifying nothing.  The amendment does not take away the rights of any Indian minority communities, on the other hand it is offering protection to the right to life of minorities, who are subjected to in human cruelties, the spirit of Constitutionalism is being held to a new high by the Government of India, rising up to its responsive role as a Nation committed to the rights of religious minorities and committed to the International treaties in this regard. Those Chief Ministers who say, they won’t implement the amendment would do a great service to their people, if they take the Constitution of India from the book shelves of their good offices and spare a little time to go through the sacred document. The Article 11 says: Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this part shall derogate from the power of Parliament to make any provision with respect to the acquisition and termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship. Article 246(1) read with Entry 17 of List 1, Schedule VII would put an end to the meaningless claims made in the spur of the moment to incite passions. Our Parliament, has unfettered power to make laws with respect to citizenship, naturalization and aliens. The divide and rule was a British Policy tactically used to continue the imperialist rule over  India is again on return now, used by the opposition, the opposition parties led by Indian National Congress who are duty bound to play the role of a responsible opposition, have forgotten their duties and are stocking communal fire on streets, sowing seeds of fear, in Indian minorities, through a false propaganda that they are going to be ousted, this is nothing but playing with fire, a fire which will damage the spirit of Constitutionalism, the peace and brotherhood existing in our society.

 

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