A racist and unfortunate decision by India’s Hindu nationalist government has passed a controversial law that grants citizenship to illegal immigrants from neighboring countries, as long as they aren’t Muslim.
The move by the government has sparked fierce criticism, with opponents saying the bill diminishes the status of Muslims in India and undermines the country’s secular constitution. But the ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi argues the bill will protect religious minorities fleeing persecution in their homelands.
According to Vice News, the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which passed India’s upper house Wednesday and will become law once signed by the president, gives a path to citizenship for immigrants who illegally entered India from three neighboring Muslim-majority countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. But immigrants will only be eligible for the amnesty if they’re from non-Muslim religious minorities in those countries.
It was reported that analysis and critics have slammed the law as a dangerous assertion of Modi’s Hindu nationalist ideology, one that contravenes India’s secular constitution by awarding nationality on the grounds of an explicitly non-Muslim religious identity.
A group representing India’s 200 million-strong Muslim minority, which already fears it is being marginalized by the BJP’s stridently Hindu nationalist policies has launched a petition against the bill in the Supreme Court, arguing the legislation is unconstitutional.
Vice News reported that the BJP, which was re-elected in a landslide in May, espouses a nationalist ideology the diverse country of 1.3 billion people as, above all, a Hindu nation.