Equality and secularism are core ideals of the Indian state. The preamble to the Indian Constitution, which sets out its guiding principles, lists both in no unclear terms. Now, a proposed amendment to India's citizenship rules that falls foul of this noble vision has generated widespread unease in the country.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, which went in for public consultation earlier this month, seeks to open up citizenship to illegal migrants from six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan if they have been in India for at least six years and arrived on or before Dec 31, 2014. The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.