FAIR PLANET: Why India's Anti-Muslim citizenship Law is so Dangerous - IAMC

FAIR PLANET: Why India’s Anti-Muslim citizenship Law is so Dangerous

By Safa Ahmed

When it comes to the topic of who does and doesn’t belong in India, Union Minister Amit Shah –  a close aide of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – has never minced words.

“Infiltrators are like termites,” he told a rally of supporters in 2019. “A BJP government will pick up infiltrators one by one and throw them into the Bay of Bengal.”

It was a clear dog whistle – everyone in that crowd knew “infiltrators” was code for “Muslims,” 200 million of whom make up India’s most highly persecuted minority group. His comments were foreshadowing: Shah was speaking just months before the government would pass the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), a law that fast-tracks citizenship for undocumented Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – but not for Muslims. In other words, the CAA conditions citizenship on the basis of religion.