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Salient Points of Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah’s Speech on Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha

This is not the first occasion when a government has taken a decision on citizenship. In 1971, Smt.Indira Gandhi had decided to give citizenship to everyone who came from Bangladesh. Why weren’t people who came from Pakistan given Citizenship then? Even after 1971,

  1. This is not the first occasion when a government has taken a decision on citizenship. In 1971, Smt.Indira Gandhi had decided to give citizenship to everyone who came from Bangladesh. Why weren’t people who came from Pakistan given Citizenship then? Even after 1971, minorities have been continuously persecuted in Bangladesh. The genocide hasn’t stopped. Congress gave refugees from Uganda citizenship but not from England. Why? There was a reasonable classification behind it.
     
  2. We need to look at the Constitution of these 3 countries in detail if we have to understand this Bill. Article 2 states in The Constitution of Afghanistan that Islam is the religion of the country. There are similar provisions in Constitutions of Pakistan 8: Bangladesh as well.
     
  3. During Partition, refugees were exchanged. The Nehru-Liaquat Pact happened in 1950 in which both countries promised to take care of its minorities but Pakistan did not fulfil its promise. The Bill aims to provide citizenship to those minorities persecuted for religious reasons who have come to India. We aren’t taking away any rights from Muslims, contrary to the propaganda being peddled.
     
  4. Had the Congress Party not allowed the Partition of this country on the basis of religion, this Bill wouldn’t be needed. It isn’t our fault, it’s theirs.
     
  5. If any Muslim individual applies for the same, it will be considered with an open mind. Ground of religious persecution of Muslims is out of question, because all three countries have Muslims as Majority. I want to assure this House that this Bill will only bring justice to the people who have been waiting for it for 70 years. It is not targeting anyone and will do no injustice.
     
  6. I believe every political party must fight elections on its manifesto, which is built by the opinion of the people of the country, and not on some leader or family. This is what has happened here. This Bill was in B]P’s manifesto for 2014 8: 2019 elections. After this Bill is passed by this House, crores of people would be liberated from distress and would become the citizens of India with honour.
     
  7. It is the responsibility of every country to protect its boundaries and stop infiltration. We can’t open the country for everyone. Every country makes its law to protect itself and so have we. It is the duties of any government to protect its border, stops the intruders, and distinguish between refugees and intruders. Which country hasn’t formulated a law for granting citizenship to foreign nationals?
     
  8. After the 1971 war and formation of Bangladesh, refugees were given Citizenship and no one, including our party, protested against it. There are crores of people who’re suffering at the moment. I challenge the MPs from Bengal and Congress to prove that the Bill is partial in any way.
     
  9. In this Bill, we’re protecting the social and linguistic uniqueness of the North East people. Nobody needs to fear it. Nagaland and Mizoram are protected by Inner Line Permit and it will continue to remain protected. Keeping in mind the feelings of Manipur, we’re including them into the Inner Line Permit as well. Meghalaya is protected by the Sixth Schedule.
     
  10. I’ve discussed this matter for 1 19 hours in recent times with over 140 NGOs, political parties and CMs of several states. Their suggestions have been duly incorporated in this Bill.
     
  11. Some members have declared this bill as unconstitutional on the basis of article 14. I would like to say this bill is not unconstitutional by any means. Nor does this violate Article 14. This bill does not violate Article 14, Article 21 or Article 25. This is in accordance with the constitution.
     
  12. We can’t make this mistake of not accepting someone who has to come here to protect his sisters, daughters or to protect his religion. We will definitely accept them, give them citizenship and would honour them in front of the whole world.
     
  13. Our definition of minorities is not wrong. This entire bill is for the minorities of those three nations. Muslims in Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan cannot be minorities because Islam is their national religion.
     
  14. A lot of temples were destroyed in these countries. In 1992, there were 2 lakh Hindus and Sikhs religious places were in Afghanistan and in 2018 only 500 remain. The entire nation witnessed the demolition of religious places. Lord Buddha’s statue was destroyed by a canon shell. Where would these minorities go? I want to convey to the entire nation through this house that there is a fundamental difference between a refugee and intruder.
     
  15. The mistake of Nehru-Liaquat Pact has been corrected by Prime Minister Modi.

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