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India to Implement Citizenship Law to Protect Persecuted Religious Minorities In Pakistan, Bangladesh, Others

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India Citizenship Law

India’s government on Monday announced plans to implement a 2019 citizenship law to help persecuted minorities in Muslim-majority countries. However, this has been criticised for being anti-Muslim, as it excludes Muslims.

According to reports, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) allows non-Muslim religious minorities, like the Hindus, Parsis, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, and Christians, who fled to Hindu-majority India from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan before December 31, 2014, to seek citizenship in a bid to help those facing persecution in these countries.

It was passed in 2019 by the Indian parliament but was held off with its implementation after a mass protest broke out in which scores of people died.

It was declared “anti-Muslim” by several rights groups who said the law undermines India’s foundation as a secular nation.

Muslim groups expressed concern that when combined with a proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), the law could discriminate against India’s sizable Muslim population of around 200 million. They also feared the government might remove the citizenship of Muslims without documents in some border states.

However, the government has refuted allegations of religious bias, insisting the law aims to protect persecuted minorities in Muslim-majority countries.

“These rules will now enable minorities persecuted on religious grounds in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan to acquire citizenship in our nation,” Home Minister Amit Shah wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

It also emphasised that the law’s intent is to grant citizenship rather than revoke it from anyone, as it dismissed earlier protests as politically motivated.

 

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