Citizenship bill angers India’s Muslims
December 20, 2019 - India’s controversial new citizenship law has deepened worries that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pursuing policies that effectively turn India’s Muslims into second-class citizens.
The new law, known as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), offers citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Critics fear that it undermines India's secular constitution, and say faith should not be the basis of citizenship.
Modi has dismissed the fear among Muslims as “imaginary” but since coming back to power in May, his government has stripped Muslim-majority Kashmir’s limited autonomy, imposed a crippling lockdown there, and has also passed a law that criminalised the practice of instant triple talaq (divorce) among Muslims.
The controversy over the law has reopened the wounds from India’s traumatic independence from colonial rule in 1947 when it was partitioned by the departing British into two separate states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.
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