"Any Religious Test...": US House Panel Alarmed At Citizenship Bill

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill cleared Lok Sabha with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes on Monday. It seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

'Any Religious Test...': US House Panel Alarmed At Citizenship Bill

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: The debate over the controversial bill lasted for seven hours.

Highlights

  • US House Foreign Affairs Committee slams Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
  • "Religious test for citizenship undermines basic democratic tenet": US
  • Citizenship (Amendment) Bill cleared Lok Sabha on Monday night
Washington D.C.:

Any religious test for citizenship "may undermine the basic tenets of democratic values" of a nation, the US House foreign affairs committee has said after the Citizenship Amendment Bill cleared Lok Sabha on Monday.

"Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet," the panel said after the Lok Sabha passed the Bill.

On Monday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill cleared Lok Sabha with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes. It seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. The debate over the controversial bill lasted for seven hours.

Through this Bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to people from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, so that they are not treated as illegal immigrants.

In another statement, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom reiterated similar concerns over the legislation saying: "The Bill enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion."

Next, the bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha where the NDA government will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member house.