Parliament passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, with Rajya Sabha passing it today. Lok Sabha passed the Bill on 9th December. While introducing the Bill in Rajya Sabha, Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, will give a new ray of hope to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on the ground of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. Shri Shah reiterated that the Bill is not against any Minority in India and the rights of each Indian Citizen will be equally protected. He said that the Narendra Modi government is committed to protecting the rights of each citizen of the country. The only religion that the Modi government follows is the Constitution of India. He added, “We are not here only to run the government but to solve the genuine problems of the common man”.
Replying to the debate, Shri Shah said that the Bill is aimed at giving a dignified life to these people who had suffered religious persecution for decades by granting Indian Citizenship to them if they fulfill conditions for the grant of citizenship. The Home Minister said that grant of citizenship will be from the date and year of the entry into India and all the cases and legal proceedings against them would be closed, besides protecting their business and trade interests on an equal footing. Shri Shah said even if the passports and visas of these minorities had expired, they would not be treated as illegal. Bill seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities on the ground of religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
Shri Shah said that while nowhere does this bill target India’s minority community, no illegal immigrants would be allowed to stay in the country at any cost. He also underlined that the population of minorities in the Islamic States of Pakistan and Bangladesh had reduced considerably over the years, as they were either killed or forced to change their religion, and thus were forced to flee to India. He said that partition of India on religious lines and subsequent failure of the Nehru-Liaqat pact of 1950 in protecting the rights and dignity of the minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh are the reasons for bringing this Bill. He added, “Had this bill come 50 years ago, this situation would not have arisen. The biggest mistake in history was the partition of India on religious lines. The CAB was in our manifesto and the people gave us a resounding mandate in 2019, thus it is the solemn resolve of this Government to fulfill its commitment”.
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