Bengaluru: Union home minister Amit Shah is tabling the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha. Quite naturally, the opposition parties, chiefly the Congress are crying foul over the bill, saying it is discriminatory and violates the very ethos of our constitution. 

While the Congress tries to corner the BJP government over the issue with the help of allegations like religious discrimination, it would certainly not be out of place to quote what Manmohan Singh, a former prime minister had said in the year 2006. His quote stands in violation of the spirit of constitution as he emphatically discriminated against Hindus, purely based on religion. 

He had said, “Muslims must have first claim on resources. We will have to devise innovative plans to ensure that minorities, particularly the Muslim minority, are empowered to share equitably the fruits of development. These must have the first claim on resources.” 

The same PM, three years earlier, had spoken in favour of CAB when he was the leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha. 

Also Read: When Manmohan Singh had batted in favour of CAB

He had said, “After the partition of our country, minorities in countries like Bangladesh have faced persecution, and it is our moral obligation that if circumstances force people, these unfortunate people, to seek refuge in our country, our approach to granting citizenship to these unfortunate persons should be more liberal.”

He had even added, “I sincerely hope that the Deputy Prime Minister (LK Advani) will bear this in mind in charting out the future course of action with regard to the Citizenship Act.”

As being alleged by the opposition parties, the CAB is not a tool to harass Muslims. It is being implemented to grant non-Muslims Indian citizenship who are being persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. 

The number of years to get Indian citizenship has been reduced to 5 years from the existing 11 years.