Citizenship Amendment Bill: Why It Does More Damage Than Good

Why does the Citizenship Amendment Bill handpick some countries over the others and exclude Muslims? Tune in!

1 min read

The Citizenship Amendment Bill was taken up by the Lok Sabha and passed close to midnight on 9 December with 311 ayes and 80 noes.

For those who followed the parliamentary proceedings will agree that rarely have we seen the Parliament work so late into the midnight, as it did on the 9 December, to clear the Bill that could not be cleared in Narendra Modi’s first term. But despite long hours in the Lower House, members of the Lok Sabha failed to see the ramifications of clearing such a controversial Bill.


The Citizenship Amendment Bill aims to offer Indian citizenship to migrants who have entered India illegally from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan in order to flee religious persecutions in their own nations. However, the only catch is the migrants need to belong to either of these six faiths: Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian. In other words, they cannot be Muslims.

This raises several questions on the nature of the Bill: why does it pick only three countries amongst the several neighbouring nations where other minority communities face religious persecution? Why does it exclude Muslims from applying for citizenship? How is the government defending this Bill in a secular state with a Constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of religions?

Tune in to find out!

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