Tearing a copy of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha on Monday, Asaduddin Owaisi, the AIMIM MP from Hyderabad, accused the Union government of “hating” Muslims, “discriminating against” the community, and conspiring to make them “stateless”.
He said the government is being “scared” of China in not including the country in the Bill among the list of neighbouring countries. Owaisi also maintained that the Bill violates the Constitution, particularly Article 14, which guarantees Right to Equality.
— ANI (@ANI) December 9, 2019
Badruddin Ajmal, the AIUDF MP from Assam’s Dhubri, called the proposed legislation a “Divide and Rule” Bill that is against the Assam Accord of 1985.
Opposing the Bill, Indian Union Muslim League member P K Kunhalikutty said, “Today you divide the nation in the name of religion; tomorrow it will be on language, (and) all this in the name of (Sardar) Patel. This is a communal agenda, against the Constitution. I am sure this will not stand in the Supreme Court.”
In his speech, Owaisi recounted that when the Constitution was being written, a proposal to begin the document with God’s name was outvoted. But, he said, there is now a Bill that “discriminates” on the basis of religion.
He said: “There is a need to look at CAB through the NRC lens. Of the 19 lakh (people) left out of NRC in Assam, 5.40 lakh are Bengali Hindus. So after the CAB comes, proceedings against them will be abated; (and) proceedings will continue against only the remaining Muslims. This is violative of Article 14; a conspiracy of this government to make Muslims stateless. Why this hatred and discrimination?”
He also recounted that Tiger Siddiqui, who drew up the Mukti Bahini of Bangladesh, which eventually led to partition of Pakistan and liberation of Bangladesh, was given refuge in India. “This Bill is worse then Hitler’s,” he added.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Owaisi said he began to be called the Mahatma after he tore the discriminatory citizenship card in South Africa. Owaisi then ripped the copy of the Bill to highlight his protest, inviting sharp reactions from the treasury benches, which described his act an “insult” to Parliament. This an insult to India’s freedom fighters, Owaisi retorted, accusing the BJP-led government of working to marginalise Muslims in the country.