Religion should not be the basis for citizenship in India

This is in response to the letter on India's Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) published in Khaleej Times on December 19 (Indian government is not against minorities). The reader mentioned that "the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of India neither mentions the word Muslims nor is it targeting any community." However, one of the amendments made to Section 2 of the Citizenship Act states, "Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December, 2014."
Evidently, this amendment is targeting communities on the basis of religion. The reader is correct that the CAA does not mention Muslims. However, all the primary religions of the region have been mentioned, except Islam.
NRC and CAA are aimed at the concept of citizenship. There is nothing inherently wrong with defining what citizenship is. There is, however, a problem when these actions disproportionately affect some more than others. There is a problem when these actions are made and orchestrated by people who have shown on multiple occurrences their biases on grounds of religion. The NRC and CAA would've only had minor backlash if the government was seen as neutral. But the protestors see a government that labels anyone who disagrees with their policies as a traitor to the country while possessing an agenda against them. A biased government exercising its power in this form is dangerous, even if they justify themselves using the law. The protestors are not really fighting the legislation but taking a stand in fear of a bleak and dark future.
-Winston Smith




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