Several organizations on Tuesday held protests at Jantar Mantar against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday. Terming it communal and in sharp contravention to the fundamental rights guaranteed in Article 14, they questioned why minorities from only three countries have been given space in the current bill, not other neighboring countries.

“The government has a clear agenda to implement fascist ideology and render the Muslim community to second class citizens. They are taking steps to create a Hindu Rashtra through constitutional means bypassing all democratic values,” said advocate Sharfuddin Ahmed, national vice-president of Social Democratic Party of India.

Hundreds of SDPI workers gathered at Jantar Mantar, raising slogans against the bill and also burnt copies of the bill. “Why the government is granting citizenship to the Hindu refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who are already living in India as refugees. Why the persecuted minorities from Myanmar and Sri Lanka are not included in the bill,” asked Dr Tasleem Rehmani, national secretary of SDPI.

The selective stance of the bill has irked many organizations as well as activists. The North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS) also registered its protest against the bill today at Jantar Mantar. They condemned the BJP Government’s communal intent and requested the government to include all those who have faced persecution in the recent past in their countries.

“It should be noted that the minorities in Sri Lanka and Myanmar too have faced persecution in the recent past. They should also be included in the bill. And by not doing so, the BJP government is exhibiting its entirely communal stance. They have refused to grant even asylum to the Rohingyas because it sees them as unwanted illegal immigrants,” said a release of the Forum.