Hindu Rashtra, says BJP MP Ravi Kishan; Muslims don't have a place here

Hindu Rashtra, says BJP MP Ravi Kishan; Muslims don

BJP MP Ravi Kishan has controversially said India is a 'Hindu Rashtra' since there are some 100 crore Hindus in the country

New Delhi: BJP MP Ravi Kishan has controversially said India is a "Hindu Rashtra" since there are some 100 crore Hindus in the country. He was weighing in on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was cleared by the cabinet today for tabling in parliament.

The bill seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India. "The population of Hindus is 100 crores. So obviously India is a Hindu rashtra (nation).

There are so many Muslim and Christian countries. It is amazing that we have a country called 'Bharat' to keep alive our culture," the popular actor and lawmaker told news agency ANI. "If there can be Muslim and Christian countries, why can't be a Hindu country," he questioned.

The actor-politician, who contested and won the election from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, said opposition parties "have gone mad" over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Parties like the Congress say the citizenship bill targets Muslims.

"I think the bill is fundamentally unconstitutional because the basic idea of India has been violated in the bill. Those who believe that religion should determine nationhood... that was the idea of Pakistan, they created Pakistan," Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said at Parliament.

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's daughter slammed the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill , terming it as an indication that the country's BJP-led central government does not favour those from the Muslim community.

"India - No country for Muslims," a message posted through the Peoples Democratic Party chief's Twitter handle claimed, hours after the Union cabinet cleared the controversial bill for tabling in the parliament. As the Peoples Democratic Party chief has been in detention since August 5, when the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 was scrapped, her daughter Sana Iltija Javed operates her social media accounts.

This is not the first time Mehbooba Mufti or her daughter has accused the government of targeting Muslims. "The Government of India's intention is clear and sinister. They want to change the demography of the only Muslim-majority state in India, disempower Muslims to an extent where they become second-class citizens in their own state," a tweet posted through the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister's Twitter handle read hours after Jammu and Kashmir's special status was scrapped four months ago.

Veteran Congress leader and three-time Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the Congress will move the Supreme Court against the bill which is "unconstitutional" and "divisive". CPI(M)'s general secretary Sitaram Yechury demanded that the bill be withdrawn. "It is simple. Citizenship cannot be determined by or linked to religion.

This is what makes the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) unacceptable and unconstitutional. The CAB is aimed at destroying the basis of India," he tweeted. Defending the bill, seen as a key part of the BJP's ideological project, BJP spokesperson Rao said it is "in consonance with the spirit and soul of Indian Constitution and our government's 'India first' motto.

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