The government is implementing M A Jinnah’s two-nation theory through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and India should not become like Pakistan, the CPI(M) said on Sunday while opposing the legislation.
Asserting that India believes in the philosophy of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is one family), the party’s general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the CPI(M) will move two amendments on the proposed law when it is introduced in Parliament.
Addressing a press conference, Yechury said India is a home equally for all religions and that people of all religions must get equal treatment. The party will move amendments seeking deletion of all the clauses which specify religion as the basis of giving citizenship, he said.
Our two amendments to the RSS/BJP’s divisive Citizens Amendment Bill on neighbouring countries and religions: India is equally, a home for all religions. Why just three neighbouring countries in the bill? People of all religions must get equal treatment. #NoDiscrimination pic.twitter.com/J0bkZiZeZf
— Sitaram Yechury (@SitaramYechury) December 8, 2019
“No slide into narrow and dark sectarianism like this can be allowed. We strongly oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which gives citizenship on the basis of religion, that also to people from three countries,” Yechury said.
Another party leader, Mohammed Yousuf Tarigami, who accompanied Yechury in the conference said he is “shocked” at the bill for giving citizenship on the basis of religion.
“The citizenship amendment bill, more or less, is the two-nation theory of Pakistan”s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah being effectively implemented by BJP. India should not follow Pakistan”s way. Religion cannot be the basis of its nationhood,” he said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, set to be introduced by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament on Monday, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.
The Bill that seeks to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act has triggered widespread protests in the northeastern states with a large section of people and organisations opposing it.
Many opposition leaders and NDA allies from north-eastern states have vehemently opposed the bill and would abstain from voting on the bill on Monday.
The bill will not be applicable in the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura that are included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the area covered under the Inner Line System notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 which includes Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram. The bill is applicable to Manipur.
The final list of Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC) published on July 30, 2018 excluded around 40 lakh people. Of the 3.29 crore people who had filled in their applications, only 2.89 crore found their names in the draft list. The issue was raised in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha during the monsoon session and was strongly opposed in north-eastern states with leaders protesting against the move.