Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 and stated that it was not against minorities but against infiltrators. Moreover, he said that the name of the Muslim community is nowhere mentioned in the contentious Bill. Introducing the bill, Amit Shah accentuated how Congress "divided" the country on the basis of religion, thus making it imperative to bring in the Bill.
"Nowhere in the Bill Muslim community is named even once. You cannot distort and present it in the House," said Amit Shah after tabling the Bill, while replying to a member from Opposition Bench who alleged that the Bill is discriminatory against the community. "This bill is not even .001% against minorities. It is against infiltrators," he said.
The Home Minister asserted that India's three neighbors-- Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are 'closely related' to the 'ground realities' of the country. He said, "A lot of laws have been made associated with Article 14 with reasonable classification in the past. Three countries, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, are closely related to India's ground realities. This country shares a border of 106 km with Afghanistan. Sadly, in all three neighboring countries, religious atrocities happened against Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, Jains and other minorities."
Amit Shah further added that the proposed legislation is being brought on the basis of reasonable classifications provided under the Constitution and it does not violate any of its provisions. "We need to look at the Constitution of these countries in detail if we have to understand this Bill. Article 2 states in The Constitution of Afghanistan that Islam is the religion of the country. There are similar provisions in Constitutions of Pakistan and Bangladesh as well," Amit Shah speaking at the Lok Sabha added.
Tabling the Bill in the Lok Sabha, Amit Shah said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 would not have been needed if the Congress prevented the partition. "Had the Congress Party not allowed the Partition of this country on the basis of religion, this Bill wouldn't have been needed. It isn't our fault, it's theirs. They'll have to listen to it now because it's our history," Amit Shah said on December 5.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country. The Bill was passed by the Lower House of the Parliament earlier this year but lapsed with the term of the previous Lok Sabha during the first term of the PM Narendra Modi government in the Centre.