Citizenship Bill Attempt to Reduce Muslims to Second-class Citizens in India, Says Congressman
Washington: India's Citizenship Amendment Bill is an attempt to reduce minority Muslims to second-class citizens, a Muslim-American Congressman has said as the contentious bill got the clearance from both the houses of the Indian parliament.
The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Lok Sabha cleared the Bill on Monday.
“This move is yet another attempt to effectively reduce Muslims in India to second-class citizens,” said Congressman Andre Carson, who is one of the three Muslim members currently serving in the US Congress.
Carson also raised his concern for the removal of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. "When the Indian Prime Minister Modi announced the unilateral changes to Jammu and Kashmir's status on August 5, I expressed my grave concern about its implications for the future of Kashmir,” he said.
Calling it a dangerous move that disregards international norms, Carson said the government has ignored the democratic will of the Kashmiri people, undermined the rich tradition of Indian constitutionalism and raises huge questions about the future of India.
India on August 5 abrogated provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two union territories.
Pakistan reacted strongly to India's decision and downgraded bilateral ties and expelled the Indian envoy.
India has categorically told the international community that the scrapping of Article 370 was an internal matter. It has also advised Pakistan to accept the reality and stop all anti-India propaganda. "Today, we witness yet another potentially devastating move by the Prime Minister, as lawmakers enacted his draconian CAB," he said.