Legally Unequal? Citizenship in Modi’s New India – By Niraja Gopal Jayal
Among the apprehensions raised by the results of the just concluded election to the lower house of India’s Parliament is the concern that the Citizenship Amendment Bill of 2016, which had been stalled by the upper house, will now find its way into the statute books.
This is a legitimate anxiety because it portends a decisive shift in the universalist conception of equal citizenship adopted when India became a sovereign democratic republic. Albeit its most visibly worrisome aspect, this bill is however only one dimension of the citizenship question in contemporary India.…
The poll results of May 23 suggest that, given the brute majority won by the new government, the trends observed in this article are likely to get further consolidated in the coming five years. This has the potential of transforming India into a majoritarian polity with gradations of citizenship rights that undermine the constitutional principle of universal equal citizenship; with privileges of inclusion being attached to some categories of citizens while others suffer the disadvantage of exclusion.…
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