The Citizenship Amendment Bill was finally tabled in the Lok Sabha today. The proposed draft bill is much more accommodating and humane towards North Eastern states, as areas under ILP and those protected against the Sixth Schedule have been exempted from the purview of the upcoming law. On the floor of the house, dawning a saffron ‘Nehru’ coat, Amit Shah held no bars while justifying the Modi government’s move of bringing in the proposed bill to provide citizenship to the persecuted minorities of Islamic nations like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Congress was made to face the brunt of Amit Shah’s rage first hand for trying to stop the very introduction of the bill on the floor of the house.
The Congress, TMC and AIMIM were among those hell bent against the bill, so much so that in a fleeting fit of desperation, the leaders of these parties directly started debating on the merits of the bill, while only the permissibility of Lok Sabha’s power to legislate on the topic was to be discussed. Amit Shah left no opportunity to show the Congress a mirror, as one of his early statements read, “If Indira Gandhi could grant citizenship to Bangladeshis by invoking Article 14, why can the Modi government not do the same for religious minorities?”
Thereafter, Amit Shah explained how the proposed bill did not violate any constitutional principle. Again, aiming his guns at Indira Gandhi, Shah said, “I would like to say that this bill does not violate the constitution on any counts. Everyone has been speaking of Article 14. However, this article cannot become an impediment in the creation of new laws. This is not the first time that decisions on citizenship are being taken. In fact, during Indira’s rule, in 1971, citizenship was given to Bangladeshi’s, and thereafter even to the people of Uganda.”
However, upon the persistent clinging of the opposition on the Muslim angle, Amit Shah got evidently frustrated, and in a high octave statement said:
“Why is there a necessity of this Bill now? Had the Congress, during independence, not broken India on the basis of religion, there would have been no present day necessity to bring in this law. Congress partitioned India on the basis of religion!”
In the beginning of his speech, Amit Shah had aggressively rebutted Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury who was looking at encircling the Home Minister in his net of lies. “This bill is not against even the smallest minorities of India. Do not walkout! I am willing to answer all questions about this bill. Nowhere in this bill is the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’ even mentioned. After my statement, the opposition will get sufficient opportunity to make their concerns heard. Do not twist facts and try to fool the house!”
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Lok Sabha leader of Congress, wasn’t satisfied with just this much of embarrassment for him and his party. Upon constant heckling, Amit Shah decided to go for an all-out attack and not be politically correct any longer. He therefore said that the three countries– Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, all have state religion- i.e., Islam. He also read out the specific clauses from their Constitutions. He then asked, how can Muslims be persecuted in an Islamic state? It is impossible, he stated. Only the religious minorities are persecuted in these nations, he added.
It is a known fact that it is only seldom that India has such fiery and dedicated people heading the Home Ministry. How Amit Shah smoothly facilitated the passage of the Triple Talaq, UPA and J&K Reorganization Bills is a case-study in politics. The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill is only to add another feather to Shah’s hat.