1. We, denounce the communally inspired Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019. It uses religion as legal criterion for determining Indian citizenship. The stated intent of the Bill to provide refuge to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan seems to camouflage the discrimination and division on the basis of religion. It violates the pluralistic fabric of the country.
2. The idea of India that emerged from the independence movement, architects of the nation, and as enshrined in our constitution, is that of a country that aspires to treat people of all faiths equally. The use of religion as a criterion for citizenship in the concerned bill would mark a radical break with this history and would be inconsistent with the basic structure of the constitution.
3. The articles 14 & 15 of the Indian constitution prohibit the State from denying “to any person equality before the law and from discrimination on the basis of religion, caste and creed. The Bill passed by both the houses of parliament violates the spirit of the Constitution and its basic structure.
4.The bill also violates Assam Accord 1985 which fixes 25.03.1971 as the cut-off date for the detection of foreigners in Assam. As such arbitrarily nullifying this Accord will disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the Northern East regions. We reject this unconstitutional and draconian bill.
5. We appeal to the honorable President of India to use his good office to stop the injustice and communal targeting of people through such draconian law. We also appeal to the honorable Supreme Court of India to take suo moto notice of the condemnable majoritarian legislation whereby the basic structure of the constitution will be destroyed.
-Dr. Shaista Yousuf
President Mehfil e Nisa
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