After the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha on December 11, Union Minister Harsh Vardhan has expressed delight that the persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who had taken refuge in India will now get legal citizenship.
"People who are our brothers, our blood — still live in turmoil in India. They did not have citizenship, neither did they have any (identity) card. Hence, they couldn't avail any facilities. From now, they will be considered citizens of the country. When these people realised this, they were too happy," said Vardhan.
Speaking about the party's vision for the country and apprising the plight of the migrants, he said, "We want to build an India in which everyone can live together happily. For Hindus, there is no other country in the world apart from India which they can call their own. They can come to India if they are in trouble. The migrants have suffered a lot and waited for so long. Finally, they can be happy."
The Citizenship Amendment Bill 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. The bill was again passed in the winter session of Lok Sabha with a roaring majority of 311 votes in favour and 80 against the Bill and then yesterday in Rajya Sabha too with 125 votes in favour of the bill.