New Delhi, December 4: Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi, who is vehemently opposing the Centre's proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, said the "two-nation theory" is being revived through the legislation. The firebrand Muslim leader alleged that the law is violative of fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution as it discriminates on the basis of religion. Asaduddin Owaisi Becoming 'Second Zakir Naik', Says Union Minister Babul Supriyo.
Owaisi, the chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), said the proposed law would be disrespecting the ideals of country's father-figure Mahatma Gandhi and the "architect of Constitution" Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar as they did not choose religion as a factor of citizenship. All You Need to Know About Citizenship Amendment Bill.
"This law also violates Article 14 and 21 because you are giving citizenship on the basis of religion which contravenes both the Articles. If we pass this law then it will be a disrespect towards Mahatma Gandhi and Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution," he said.
Owaisi further pointed out that Indian Muslims had, in 1947, rejected the two-nation theory put forth by Pakistan founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But the Citizenship Bill, which proposes to grant citizenship to all migrants and refugees except those practicing Islam, may revive the two-nation theory, the four-time Lok Sabha MP warned.
"Bringing CAB will be a dishonour to our freedom fighters because you will be reviving the two nation theory. As an Indian Muslim I rejected Jinnah's theory now you are making a law wherein unfortunately you will be reminding the nation of two nation theory," he said.
Owaisi also condemned the Centre's decision exempt areas with inner line permit and those falling under the Sixth Schedule from the citizenship law.
"If media reports are correct that Northeast states will be exempted from proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) law then it is in itself a great violation of Article 14 which is a fundamental right. You can't have 2 laws on citizenship in the country," Owaisi said, referring to Article 14 which promises equality of all Indian citizens before the law.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill is expected to be take up for consideration and passage in the current session of Parliament. The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the legislation after incorporating the changes proposed by Northeastern States.
What is Jinnah's Two-Nation Theory?
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, widely regarded as the founder of Pakistan, had led a separatist movement since the early 1930s in the undivided India. His movement was based on Allama Muhammad Iqbal's ideology of seceding from the Indian Union to create a Muslim India. He was of the view that the rights of Muslims and other minorities could be protected only in a separate homeland for them. Jinnah's movement gained traction in northwestern frontier and Punjab regions, along with eastern part of Bengal. This culminated into the formation of Pakistan. The majority of Indian Muslims, however, opposed the theory and remained in their India.