Rep. Carson Statement on India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill
Washington, DC— Congressman André Carson, one of three Muslim members currently serving in Congress, released this statement following India’s passage of a controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, which for the first time makes one’s religion a criterion for nationality.
“When the Indian Prime Minister Modi announced the unilateral changes to Jammu and Kashmir’s status on August 5th, I expressed my grave concern about its implications for the future of Kashmir. It is a dangerous move that disregards international norms, ignores the democratic will of the Kashmiri people, undermines the rich tradition of Indian constitutionalism and raises huge questions about the future of India.
“Today, we witness yet another potentially devastating move by the Prime Minister, as lawmakers enacted his draconian Citizenship Amendment Bill. However, this action is not unexpected, considering the history of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its connections to strident communalism. This move is yet another attempt to effectively reduce Muslims in India to second-class citizens.
“In other cases, Modi has targeted India’s minority Muslim community, which identifies as uniquely Indian, with citizenship tests in a blatant attempt to deny that community’s constitutional rights and liberty, as well as its sense of place. These citizenship “exercises” and new laws strike at the heart of India’s founding tradition as a multicultural society. Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalism – which appears to promote Hindu supremacy – is a topic I hope more Members of Congress take seriously in the weeks and months ahead. Its harmful effects foment conditions that make populations susceptible to terrorism, strike at the heart of India’s pluralistic character, and could raises tensions between two nuclear powers: India and Pakistan.”