WASHINGTON DC — Soon after the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which has become a law, reactions from U. lawmakers, raising concerns about the implications of the Bill, have continued.
Andre Carson, an Indiana Democrat and member of the US House of Representatives, issued a statement saying, “Today, we witness yet another potentially devastating move by the Prime Minister, as lawmakers enacted his draconian Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. However, this action is not unexpected, considering the history of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its connections to strident communalism. This is yet another attempt to effectively reduce Muslims in India to second-class citizens.”
Mr Carson added, “In other cases, Modi has targeted India’s minority Muslim community, which identifies as uniquely Indian, with citizenship tests in a blatant attempt to deny that community’s constitutional rights and liberty…, as well as its sense of place. These citizenship “exercises” and new laws strike at the heart of India’s founding tradition as a multicultural society.”
Earlier, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has oversight over the State Department and foreign policy, had tweeted about the Bill, calling it a “religious test for citizenship” .
“Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet. #CABBill,” it said.
The Citizenship Act aims to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Parsis — leaving out Muslims — who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014.