India's Parliament set to vote on contentious citizenship bill.


NEW DELHI -- India's ruling Hindu nationalists pushed for final parliamentary approval on Wednesday for a bill that critics say undermines the country's secular constitution by granting citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from three neighbouring countries. Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the upper house (Rajya Sabha) of Parliament, a day after the lower house (Lok Sabha) gave its approval. Opposition parties, minority groups, academics and a US federal panel have contested the bill, which for the first time provides a legal route to Indian citizenship based on religion, calling it discriminatory against Muslims.

The proposed law seeks to give citizenship to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan before 2015. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom said on Monday that Washington should consider sanctions against Shah, a close associate of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, if India adopts the legislation. Introducing the bill in the upper house, Shah defended his government's move, saying the new law only sought to help minorities persecuted in Muslim majority countries contiguous with India. 'End of India as a secular democracy' "For India's Muslims, there is...

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