India introduces a controversial citizenship law that bars Muslims from participating in the run-up to elections

India introduces a controversial citizenship law that bars Muslims from participating in the run-up to elections

The Indian government said on Monday that it will implement a controversial citizenship law across the country before elections scheduled for later this year. This is what was reported by international news agencies. The law, called the CAA, allows Afghans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who came to India before 2014 to apply for an Indian passport, provided they are not Muslims. Critics view the law as anti-Islam and a symbol of the anti-Muslim policies of Prime Minister Modi, leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, India's Hindu nationalist party.

Modi's citizenship law was passed in 2019 and is already in effect in large parts of India, but it has not yet been implemented nationwide. In 2019, widespread protests broke out in several Indian states, often at universities, against the anti-Islamic nature of the law in the eyes of protesters. These protests were violently suppressed at the time. Jagannath National Progressive University in New Delhi on Monday sent a message to students to remain calm.

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The government has been repeating the same narrative about the CAA since 2019: that it aims to protect minorities who would not be safe in Muslim countries. The Communist Party called for protests in the southwestern state of Kerala. Kerala communist leader Pinarayi Vijayan said: “This law aims to divide people, incite communal sentiments and undermine the basic principles of the Constitution.” The Indian Constitution is secular in origin to protect the various religious groups in the country.

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After Indian Prime Minister Modi (left) was re-elected to a second term last year, he accelerated his Hindu nationalist agenda.  This leads to <strong>Muslim protest</strong> (On the right).” class=”dmt-article-suggestion__image” src=”https://images.nrc.nl/Zge_FJR-OOKlJ-kkNMoU6sEwZgg=/160×96/smart/filters:no_upscale()/s3/static.nrc .nl/images/gn4/stripped/data54569065-9c8f70.jpg”/></p>
<p><em>Correction (March 12, 2024): An earlier version of this article stated that Kerala is located in northeastern India.  This has been modified above.</em></p>
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