Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has said any move to decide citizenship on the basis of religion amounts to a rejection of the Constitution and is an attack on the secular and democratic character of India.He said the Constitution of India guarantees the right to citizenship for all Indians, irrespective of their religion, caste, language, culture, gender or profession.
“This right is being made void by the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB). A move to decide citizenship on the basis of religion amounts to a rejection of the Constitution. This is an exercise to divide people on communal lines. The bill, which aims to destroy our secular unity, was passed by the Lok Sabha with an unusual haste and tenacity,” said Vijayan.
He pointed out that Muslims who have immigrated from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan are being excluded. “The discrimination on the basis of religion, and preferential granting of rights, is a denial of natural justice. The bill mentions that people belonging to six religious groups, from three neighbouring countries, can be granted citizenship. These two clauses must be withdrawn,” said Pinarayi Vijayan.
He also pointed out that it is not unknown to the Sangh Parivar that India houses refugees from Sri Lanka, in addition to the three mentioned countries.