India's Cabinet Approves Bill To Help Religious Minorities Trapped In Neighboring Countries

From Reuters:
NEW DELHI/GUWAHATI (Reuters) – India’s cabinet approved a bill on Wednesday to give citizenship to religious minorities persecuted in neighboring Muslim countries, the first time that the country is seeking to grant nationality on the basis of religion.

Last month, Amit Shah, India’s federal home (interior) minister, told parliament that non-Muslim minorities – Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis – who fled from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan would be given Indian citizenship under the proposed law.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was first introduced in 2016 by the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi but was withdrawn after an alliance partner withdrew support and protests flared in India’s remote and ethnically diverse northeastern region.

Giving Indian citizenship to “Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution” was part of the manifesto of Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of a general election in May 2019 that the nationalist leader swept.

Critics have called the proposed law anti-Muslim, and some opposition parties have also pushed back, arguing citizenship cannot be granted on the basis of religion….

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