Standing in support of the protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), author Arundhati Roy has said the country is faced with the biggest challenge since independence as the CAA coupled with National Register of Citizens (NRC) is set to break the back of Constitution and cut the ground from under the feet.
In a statement, she reminded that the countrymen stood in line "obediently" outside banks three years as demonetisation was imposed, which she said, "broke the back" of the country's economy. "Now the NRC coupled with CAA is set to break the back of our Constitution and cut the ground from under our feet," she said.
"Are we going to stand in line once again, obediently, and comply with this policy that eerily resembles the 1935 Nuremberg Laws of the Third Reich? If we do, India will cease to exist. We are faced with the biggest challenge since independence. Stand up. Please. Stand up," she said. The Nuremberg Laws were anti-Semitic and racist laws in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. These laws were related to stripping Jews of citizenship and other measures meant to deny rights to them.
Those opposed to the CAA link it with the NRC exercise proposed by the government, alleging that it is meant to make Muslims second class citizens in the country. One of the major objections to the CAA is that it excludes Muslims from the ambit of the changes made in the existing law.
According to the CAA, persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered into India before December 31, 2014, are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship if they can prove that they have resided in India for five years. Others will have to wait for 11 years to apply for citizenship.
The new amendments have left out Muslims from these countries and the Opposition has challenged it saying the changes were against the basic structure of Constitution as it grants citizenship on the basis of religion.