Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Home Politics As Congress opposes CAB, here is what Manmohan Singh had said in support of...

As Congress opposes CAB, here is what Manmohan Singh had said in support of the bill in 2003

The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the existing law in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, who come to India because of religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan even if they do not possess proper documents.

Also Read

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

As Narendra Modi government is all set to table the historic Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which seeks to grant citizenship to all non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan facing religious persecution, the Congress party seems to be upset and has expressed its opposition to the initiative which grants citizenship to persecuted minorities of our neighbouring countries.

On Wednesday, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor claimed that the new bill violates the basic idea of India that religion can never be a reason for citizenship. He added that ours is a country for everybody, irrespective of religion, has equal rights in this country and the Constitution that they wrote reflected that. “Today, this bill undermines this fundamental tenet of the Constitution”, he added.

Echoing a similar sentiment, former Union minister and senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had also said that the Congress will take a leadership role in building an alliance with like-minded parties against the CAB and the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC).

- article continues after ad - - article resumes -

He went on to accuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home minister Amit Shah and the BJP of using CAB as a political tool to divert the people’s attention from the main issues of the country like current growth pangs of India.

However, in a hurry to oppose the decision of the BJP government, the Congress party seems to have exposed its hypocrisy on the issue of granting citizenship to the persecuted minorities from the neighbouring countries. It is, in fact, surprising to see that the Congress party has now chosen to oppose an idea to which the party had vehemently supported in the past.

On December 18, 2003, former Prime Minister and Congress MP Manmohan Singh, who was then leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, had spoken in the Upper House in favour of giving citizenship to Hindus from Bangladesh who had taken refuge in India because of persecution.

In the Rajya Sabha, Manmohan Singh who was yet to become country’s Prime Minister had said, “After the partition of our country, minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution, and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people, to seek refuge in our country, our approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be more liberal.”

Manmohan Singh expressing his support for Citizenship Amendment Bill for refugees who are minorities in countries like Bangladesh and Pak in RajyaSabha on December 18, 2003. / Image Source: @ModiBharosa on Twitter

Clarifying the Congress party stand on the issue, the then Rajya Sabha leader of opposition Dr Singh had stated, “It is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people, to seek refuge in our country, our approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be more liberal”.

“I sincerely hope that the Deputy Prime Minister (LK Advani) will bear this in mind in charting out the future course of action with regard to the Citizenship Act,” Singh had said in Rajya Sabha in 2003.

Read: Former PM Dr Manmohan Singh trivialises 1984 Sikh genocide as a ‘sad event’, blames PV Narasimha Rao to shield Gandhis

The opposition parties, especially Congress has been expressing its resentment publicly against the Citizenship Act, 1955 on the pretext that it violated the ‘secular’ character of the country. Secondly, the parties claim that not allowing Muslim refugees from these countries is contravention to the fundamental rights of an individual under Article 14.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the existing law in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians, who come to India because of religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan even if they do not possess proper documents.

The CAB will propose to amend the definition of illegal migrants, reduction in the number of years of residency period to obtain Indian citizenship through naturalisation and empower the Centre to cancel the registration of Overseas Citizen of India card in case of any violation.

- Support OpIndia -
Support OpIndia by making a monetary contribution

Trending now

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Latest News

Coronavirus: 24 people diagnosed with COVID-19 in Delhi’s Nizamuddin, foreign members found violating visa norms

Delhi's Nizamuddin which hosted thousands of Muslims for Tablighi Jamaat has recently emerged as the new hotspot for coronavirus

The one true pandemic: How Tablighi Jamat has become the ‘super spreader’ for coronavirus in Asia

In India, 10 coronavirus deaths are now traced to Tablighi Jamat in Delhi. Since yesterday, over 285 people showing coronavirus symptoms have been admitted in Lok Nayak Hospital alone.

Pakistan: Tablighi Jamaat member stabs policeman while trying to escape quarantine after 2 dozen members test positive for coronavirus

On Sunday, a member of the Tablighi Jamaat stabbed a police officer SHO Ashraf Malik Maakhi, with a knife after he reportedly tried to escape a quarantine facility.

Coronavirus: 6 from Telangana who were at Tablighi Jamaat in Nizamuddin die due to COVID-19 infection

On Monday, 6 people from Telangana who attended a religious gathering at Markaz in Delhi's Nizamuddin area between March 13 and March 15 had reportedly died of Coronavirus infection.

Salman Khan’s 38-year-old nephew passes away after complaining of breathlessness, media reports suggest coronavirus as possible cause, family denies

Bollywood superstar Salman Khan's 38-year-old nephew Abdullah passed away in Mumbai after complaining of breathlessness.

We’re not rich like US, but we’ve Islam: Pakistan PM announces ways to fight Coronavirus

Imran Khan, in his address to his nation on March 30, praised China, the country which unleashed Wuhan coronavirus on rest of the world.

Recently Popular

Delhi: Dozens of coronavirus cases across the country traced to Tablighi Jamat Mosque in Nizamuddin, hundreds in hospital, 2000 quarantined, area sealed off

A medical camp has been set up in the area and samples are being tested. Drones have been deployed to maintain strict vigilance over movements. As per reports, over 2000 people in the area are under quarantine.

We’re not rich like US, but we’ve Islam: Pakistan PM announces ways to fight Coronavirus

Imran Khan, in his address to his nation on March 30, praised China, the country which unleashed Wuhan coronavirus on rest of the world.

China refuses to allow discussion on Wuhan Coronavirus in UNSC, blocks draft that called for “full transparency” over the outbreak

The UNSC is divided on its proposal on the pandemic. China has also objections regarding the terminology of the proposal.

King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand goes into isolation with his harem of 20 concubines in Germany, books an entire luxury hotel

Thailand King Maha Vajiralongkorn has booked out the entire Grand Hotel Sonnenbichl in Bavaria, with permission from local council

Infosys employee Mujeeb Mohammad arrested for asking people to ‘spread the virus’ by sneezing in public, fired by the company

Although earlier Infosys said that it could be a case of mistaken identity, later they admitted he was their employee & fired him

Subscribe to our newsletter

Each morning, get an email to keep updated with all the news, opinions and analysis published by OpIndia.

Connect with us

216,705FansLike
266,802FollowersFollow
208,000SubscribersSubscribe
Advertisements