April 06, 2022
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Campus Events
International House

A Hindu or Secular India: The Debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill presented by Tom Prasch.

A new Citizenship Amendment Bill passed by the Indian Parliament in December 2019 restricts migrants by religion, explicitly excluding Muslim migrants. The act is the latest move by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, a Hindu nationalist party that has sought to reshape the secular foundations of the Indian state. The political triumph of the BJP in the late 1990s has been accompanied by growing communal tensions, for instance in conflict in Ayodhya, where a mosque was razed because it stood on a site Hindus indentified as the birthplace of the god Ram. And recent government actions, like new citizenship tests that appeared to disenfranchise Muslims in Assam state, or the stripping of autonomy from Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmire, also are seen by critics as designed to reshape India as a Hindu state. Massive protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act have highlighted the core question: should India hold to the secular-state model of its founders, or should it follow the BJP path toward a citizenship rooted in Hindu faith?

Free and open to the public.

Baili Zhang