625 people across civil society have issued the call: “Don’t betray the Constitution. Withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019”

Since independence, Indian citizenship has been firmly rooted in the Constitution. In its citizenship provisions, the Constitution insists on the fundamentals of equality, regardless of gender, caste, religion, class, community or language.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 tears to shreds the inclusive, composite vision of India that guided our freedom struggle. In the amendments it introduces to the Citizenship Act of 1955, the new Bill violates every single one of these fundamentals of the Constitution. In fact, it is not a mere change in statute. It is a Bill that will alter, fundamentally, the character of the Indian republic.

For the first time since the founding of our free and secular republic, the Bill makes religion the key to citizenship. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 so that non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan can be offered an expedited path to citizenship. For the first time there is a statutory attempt to offer privileges to certain faiths. For the first time, there is an attempt, by statute, to exclude Muslims from the possibility of amnesty and citizenship — for no reason other than their religion. In fact, nowhere, under the successive reigns this country has had through millennia, is it possible to find the articulation of an official position that has denied migrants or refugees a place on the basis of religion.

The CAB has to be viewed along with the proposed nation-wide implementation of the National Register of Citizens. Already the NRC exercise in Assam has shown us the terrible human costs of dividing people and linking citizenship to papers and detention centres and tribunals, especially among those who already lead a precarious existence.  Death, families torn apart; detention camps and foreigners’ tribunals; fear, the confusion of statelessness — this is what the common people, especially minorities, women, children and the poor have had to suffer and continue to suffer. The Citizenship Bill, as well as a nation-wide NRC, will unleash widespread division and suffering among people across the country — rather than address the critical needs of the people, from food security and employment to the annihilation of discrimination based on caste, community and gender, to the freedom to speak, worship, and live as our diverse people choose.

The Bill states that non-Muslims from three Muslim-majority countries will be granted citizenship if they have faced religious persecution in their countries; or if they migrated to India fearing such persecution. Why leave out refugees such as Rohingyas from Myanmar or Tamils from Sri Lanka or Ahmadiyyas from Pakistan? Why focus on only three countries as if these constitute the only possible sources of asylum-seekers? The Bill shows us, sharply, that India needs a refugee policy in line with international law, not a law dictated by an ideology that makes use of religion for political gains.

Indian citizenship flows from the Constitution. The Citizenship Amendment Bill’s blatant exclusion of a community is discriminatory and divisive. It violates the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution — including Articles 14,15, 16 and 21 which guarantee the right to equality; equality before the law; and non-discriminatory treatment by the Indian state. The Bill threatens the federal framework provided by the Constitution. It has ignored the need for debate in Parliament as well as open and widespread public debate in a constitutional democracy.

All of us from the cultural and academic communities condemn this Bill as divisive, discriminatory and unconstitutional. It will, along with a nationwide NRC, bring untold suffering to people across the country. It will damage, fundamentally and irreparably, the nature of the Indian republic. This is why we demand that the government withdraw the Bill. This is why we demand that the government not betray the Constitution. We call on all people of conscience to insist that the Constitutional commitment to an equal and secular citizenry be honoured.  

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1 A Selvaraj 210 Jahnabi 419 Ram Rahman
2 Abdul khan 211 Jamsheed Rizwani 420 Ramachandra Guha
3 Abdul Wahab 212 Javed Malick 421 Ramsharan Joshi
4 Abdullah 213 Jawarimal Parakh 422 Rana Dasgupta
5 Abdussalam Puthige 214 Jawhar Sircar 423 Rana Khan
6 Abhijit Sen 215 Jay Patel 424 Rangan Chakravarty
7 Abhijit Sengupta 216 Jayan Kaipra 425 Rani Day
8 AC Sreehari 217 Jayant B Joshi 426 Rani Dharker
9 Achin Vanaik 218 Jayarani 427 Ranjit Hoskote
10 Adil Jussawalla 219 Jayashree Borah 428 Ratna Raman
11 Aditi Govil 220 Jayati Ghosh 429 Ravi Bamezai
12 Aditi Joshi 221 JE Radhakrishna 430 Ravi Sidlipura
13 Aditi Mehta 222 Jeet Thayil 431 Ravinder Banyal
14 Aditya Mukherjee 223 Jeroo Mulla 432 Rebecca Kurian
15 Afreen Khan 224 Jerry Pinto 433 Rekha Awasthi
16 Ajai Singh 225 Jiten Nandi 434 Rina Kamath
17 Ajit Prakash Shah 226 Juhi 435 Ritu Menon
18 Ajitha GS 227 Jyothi A 436 Ritwik Banerjee
19 AK Dave 228 Jyoti Punwani 437 Rohan D'Souza
20 Akanksha Singh 229 Jyotirmaya Sharma 438 Rohit Manchanda
21 Akeel Bilgrami 230 K John Koshy 439 Romila Thapar
22 Ali Imam Khan 231 K Satchidanandan 440 Rosinka Chaudhuri
23 Alok Sarin 232 K Sujatha Rao 441 Ruhie Kumar
24 AM Khan 233 Kabi 442 Rukmini Bhaya Nair
25 Amit Bhaduri 234 Kalpana D Malaye 443 Ruquia Hussain
26 Amit Chaudhuri 235 Kalyani Chaudhuri 444 RV Achari
27 Amitabha Basu 236 Kamakshi Balasubramanian 445 S Farman Ahmad Naqvi
28 Amitabha Pande 237 Kamlanand Jha 446 S Raghunandana
29 Amitav Ghosh 238 Karen Gabriel 447 Saba Dewan
30 Amitava Kumar 239 Karthik Venkatesh 448 Saba Hasan
31 Ammu Joseph 240 Karthika Nair 449 Sabah Khan
32 Anand Arni 241 Kaushik Barua 450 Sabyasachi Chatterjee
33 Anand Mathew 242 Kaushik Ramanathan 451 Sachin Raj Mavale
34 Anand Patwardhan 243 Kavery Nambisan 452 Sadhna Saxena
35 Anand Teltumbde 244 Kavita Krishnan 453 Sahba Husain
36 Ananda Babu 245 KE Radhakrishna 454 Saikat Majumdar
37 Ananya Dasgupta 246 Kedar Soni 455 Saileena
38 Ananya Vajpeyi 247 Keki Daruwalla 456 Salahuddin Ahmad
39 Angelie Multani 248 Keshav Desiraju 457 Saleem Peeradina
40 Ania Loomba 249 Ketaki Dutt-Paul 458 Salil Chaturvedi
41 Anil Janvijay 250 Kirti jain 459 Salim Yusufji
42 Anil Kumar Roy 251 KM Chandrasekhar 460 Samdarshi Barthwal
43 Anil Kumar Singh 252 KM Srinivasa Gowda 461 Samik Bandyopadhyay
44 Aniruddha Sen Gupta 253 KP Fabian 462 San Mandal
45 Anirudh Deshpande 254 KP Jayasankar 463 Sanchita
46 Anisha Ahuja 255 KP Sasi 464 Sandeep Meel
47 Anita Agnihotri 256 Krishnan Unni P 465 Sandeep Pandey
48 Anita Dighe 257 Krishnaswamy S 466 Sandesh Prabhudesai
49 Anita Rampal 258 Kuldeep Kumar 467 Sandhya Gokhale
50 Anita Vachharajni 259 Kumar Prashant 468 Sandhya Srinivasan
51 Anitha Thampi 260 Kumkum Roy 469 Sanghita Sen
52 Anjali Monteiro 261 L Ramdas 470 Sanjay Kumar Misra
53 Anjum Hasan 262 Lakshmi Karunakaran 471 Sanjeev Kumar
54 Ankita Srivastava 263 Lalita Ramdas 472 Sanjukta Wagh
55 Annie Koshi 264 Laltu 473 Sankar Varma KC
56 Anshu Saluja 265 Lara Jesani 474 Sarandha Jain
57 Antara Dev Sen 266 Leela Jacinto 475 Saroop Dhruv
58 Anuradha Kapur 267 Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action 476 Sarwat Ali
59 Anuradha Kumar 268 Lima Kanungo 477 Sathya S
60 Anuradha Lobo 269 MA Baby 478 Satish Chand Abbi
61 Anvar Ali 270 Maansi Shah 479 Satyajit Rath
62 Anvita Abbi 271 Madan Lal Hind 480 Satyendra Kumar
63 Anya 272 Madhavi Menon 481 Saumya Baijal
64 AP Muraleedharan 273 Madhu Bhaduri 482 Savyasaachi
65 Aparajita Roy Sinha 274 Madhu Bhushan 483 Selvyn Jussy
66 Aparna Sen 275 Madhu Prasad 484 SG Vasudev
67 Apurba K Baruah 276 Madhu Sarin 485 Shabana Mashraku
68 Arati Luthra Pinto 277 Madhumita Mazumdar 486 Shabnam Hashmi
69 Archana Hande 278 Mahamud Padubidri 487 Shafey Kidwai
70 Archana Shah 279 Makarand Sathe 488 Shafi Alam
71 Archisman Chaudhuri 280 Mala Dayal 489 Shakeel Ahmad Burney
72 Arif Ghauri 281 Malini Adiga 490 Shakira Khanum
73 Arijit Sen 282 Malini Sur 491 Shalini Advani
74 Arnab Majumder 283 Manas Ghosh 492 Shals Mahajan
75 Arun Kumar 284 Manasi 493 Shambhu Yadav
76 Aruna Roy 285 Mangad Rathnakaran 494 Shamsul Islam
77 Arundhati Dhuru 286 Mangala Kamble 495 Shamya Dasgupta
78 Arundhati Roy 287 Mangalesh Dabral 496 Shantha Sinha
79 Arvind Das 288 Manisha Shastri 497 Sharad Behar
80 Arvind Krishna Mehrotra 289 Manishi Jani 498 Sharad Raj
81 Asfiya Karimi 290 Manjari Mehta 499 Sharda Ugra
82 Ashlin Mathew 291 Manju Kapur 500 Shashi Deshpande
83 Ashok Bhalla 292 Manjula CG 501 Shaveta Sharma
84 Ashok Bhowmick 293 Manorama Sharma 502 Sherna Dastur
85 Ashok Kumar Pandey 294 Manoranjan Mohanty 503 Shirish Jugare
86 Ashok Kumar Sharma 295 Mansi Bhatt 504 Shital Salunkhe
87 Ashok Vajpeyi 296 Manu Chakravarthy N 505 Shiv Mukherjee
88 Ashwani Kumar 297 Maya Pandit 506 Shivaji Shinde
89 Asif Mohammed 298 Md Rafe Arfi 507 Shobha Singh
90 Astad Deboo 299 Meena CK 508 Shoma A Chatterji
91 Atamjit Singh 300 Meena Gupta 509 Shreevatsa Nevatia
92 Atul Gurtu 301 Meera Devidayal 510 Shrirang Joshi
93 Atul Sood 302 Megha Malhotra 511 Shruti Sharma
94 Audrick D Mello 303 Meghan K 512 Shyam Menon
95 Avleen Kaur 304 MG Devasahayam 513 Sidhant
96 Ayesha Kidwai 305 Milind Mohan Kshirsagar 514 Simona Sawhney
97 Ayushya Kaul 306 Mitakshara Roy 515 Sipra Mukherjee
98 Aziz Minat 307 ML Murty 516 SK Das
99 B Rajeevan 308 MMP Singh 517 Smriti Nevatia
100 Badri Raina 309 MN Ashish Ganju 518 Sobha Nambisan
101 Balwinder Singh 310 Mohammad Faheem 519 Sohail Hashmi
102 Bama 311 Mohan Rao 520 Sona Rai
103 Banani Mukhia 312 Mohd Mujtaba Ahmad 521 Sonia Jabbar
104 Bappa Sinha 313 Moinak Biswas 522 Souradeep Roy
105 Bapu B 314 Moolchandra Gautam 523 SP Ambrose
106 Benny Kuruvilla 315 Motiur Rahman Khan 524 Sreyashi Dastidar
107 Bezwada Wilson 316 Mridul Dudeja 525 Srutokirti Basak
108 Bharat Tiwari 317 Mridula Garg 526 Subasri Krishnan
109 Bharati Jagannathan 318 Mridula Koshy 527 Subha Das Mollick
110 Bhasha Singh 319 Mridula Mukherjee 528 Subha Mukherji
111 Bheemanagowda K 320 Mrinal kanti Dhank 529 Subhasis Bandyopadhyay
112 Bhoomika D Pandhare 321 Mritiunjoy Mohanty 530 Subrat Kumar Sahu
113 Binayak Bhattacharya 322 MS Murali Krishna 531 Sudhanva Deshpande
114 Bizeth Banerjee 323 MS Prakash Babu 532 Sudhir Chandra
115 BK Joshi 324 Mugdha Karnik 533 Sudhir Patwardhan
116 Bolwar Mahamad Kunhi 325 Mundoli Narayanan 534 Sudhir Suman
117 Bonani Kakkar 326 Mzkhan 535 Sujata
118 Brijesh Kumar 327 Nabina Das 536 Sujata Patel
119 Brinelle D'souza 328 Naina Dayal 537 Sukanta Chaudhuri
120 BRP Bhaskar 329 Nancy Adajania 538 Sukanya Mitra
121 BS Unnikrishnan 330 Nandana Dev Sen 539 Sukhmani Riar
122 C Balakrishnan 331 Nandini Sundar 540 Sukirtharani
123 C Ramakrishnan 332 Nandita Basu 541 Sumana Roy
124 Chaman Lal 333 Nandita Das 542 Sumanta Banerjee
125 Chandani Mehta 334 Nandita Narain 543 Sumi Krishna
126 Chandrakant Patil 335 Nandita Palchoudhuri 544 Sunanda Bhat
127 Chandramohan S 336 Narendra Dengle 545 Sundar Burra
128 Chayanika Shah 337 Narendra Sisodia 546 Sunetra Gupta
129 Cheriyan Alexander 338 Naresh Dadhich 547 Sunil Shanbag
130 Chitra Mathur 339 Nataraj Honnavalli 548 Sunit Arora
131 Chitra Palekar 340 Natasha Badhwar 549 Supriya Chaudhuri
132 Chitralekha Basu 341 Navsharan Singh 550 Supriya Gandhi
133 Christopher Nag 342 Nazer Aziz Anjum 551 Supriya Nair
134 Civic Chnandran 343 NC Saxena 552 Surajit Sarkar
135 Cynthia Stephen 344 Neel Chaudhuri 553 Suresh BV
136 Dabu Mayanglambam 345 Neelima Sharma 554 Suresh Kodoor
137 Dakxin Chhara 346 Neeraj Malik 555 Suroor Mander
138 Damodar Mauzo 347 Nidhi Varma 556 Susan Philip
139 David Davidar 348 Nikhat Riyaz 557 Sushi Kadanakuppe
140 Deb Mukharji 349 Nikhil Jois KS 558 Sushi Kadanakuppe MDS
141 Debjani Bhattacharyya 350 Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay 559 Sushil Dubey
142 Debjani Sengupta 351 Nilima Sheikh 560 Sushil Khanna
143 Devaki Jain 352 Niranjana Kaipra 561 Sushma Varma
144 Devaki Khanna 353 Nisha Biswas 562 Sutanuka Ghosh
145 Devika S 354 Nitin Basrur 563 Suvir Kaul
146 Devraj 355 Nitin Desai 564 Suvra Ghosh
147 Devyani Srinivasan 356 Nityanand Jayaraman 565 Svati Joshi
148 Dhirendra K Jha 357 Nivedita Menon 566 Swapan K Chakravorty
149 Dhritiman Chaterji 358 NK Raghupathy 567 Swapna Liddle
150 Dilip G 359 Noor Zaheer 568 Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi
151 Dilip M Menon 360 NP Hafiz Mohamad 569 Syed Hasan Mahmud
152 Dilip Panse 361 Nupur Asher 570 Syed Javier Hussain
153 Dimple Oberoi Vahali 362 Orijit Sen 571 Syeda Rafia Jabeen
154 Dolphy Dsouza 363 P Bilimale 572 T Surendra Rao
155 Dunu Roy 364 P Rajamanickam 573 Tapati Guha-Thakurta
156 Durga Bhavani S 365 Padma Velaskar 574 Teesta Setalvad
157 EV Ramakrishnan 366 Palash Mehrotra 575 Teren Sevea
158 Faisal Khan 367 Pamela Philipose 576

Thanksy Francis Thekkekara

159 Farida Abdulla Khan 368 Pankaj Bisht 577 TM Krishna
160 Fazal Imam Mallick 369 Papori Bora 578 Tony Joseph
161 G Arunima 370 Pariplab Chakraborty 579 Tripti Bassi
162 G Ramakrishna 371 Partha Chatterjee 580 Tuhin Kanti Ghosh
163 G Sankaran 372 Paul Zacharia 581 Ullattil Achu
164 Ganesh K 373 Pia David 582 Umesh Chandola
165 Ganesh Kanade 374 PK Satish 583 Upendra Prasad singh
166 Gauhar Raza 375 PK Vijayan 584 Urmilesh
167 Gautam Bhatia 376 Poile Sengupta 585 Usha Rai
168 Gautam Navlakha 377 Poonam Batra 586 Uttam Jagirdar
169 Geeta Kapur 378 PR Dasgupta 587 V Alan Bosco
170 Geeta Seshu 379 Prabhat Patnaik 588 Vaasanthi
171 Geeta Sethi 380 Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil 589 Valay Singh
172 Geetanjali Shree 381 Prabir Purkayastha 590 Vamsi
173 Ghanshyam Shah 382 Pradeep Deb 591 Vani Subramanian
174 Ghouse 383 Pradeep Kakkar 592 Vanisha Tyagi
175 Girdhar Rathi 384 Pralhad Yadav Thakare 593 Vappala Balachandran
176 Gita Narayanan 385 Pramod Ranjan 594 Vasudev
177 Githa Hariharan 386 Prashastika 595 Vasundhara Chauhan
178 GN Devy 387 Pratik Sarode 596 Velcheru Narayana Rao
179 Gopal Agarwal 388 Pratishtha Pandya 597 Venugopal Rao
180 Gopal Menon 389 Prava Rai 598 Vibha Maurya
181 Gopal Nath 390 Praveer Peter 599 Vibha Puri Das
182 Gopalan Balagopal 391 Prem Chandavarkar 600 Vibha Tyagi
183 Gopalji Pradhan 392 Priya Sarukkai Chabria 601 Vidya Das Arora
184 Gopinath Ravindran 393 Priyanka K 602 Vidya Dengle
185 Govind Bali 394 PSS Thomas 603 Vidya Kamat
186 Govind Ram 395 Purushottam Agrawal 604 Vidyun Sabhaney
187 Govindaraj 396 Pushpamala N 605 Vijay Prashad
188 Govindarajsetty 397 Qaiser Shamim 606 Vijaya Venkataraman
189 Gurjit Singh Cheema 398 R Mahalakshmi 607 Vijayaraghavan S
190 Gurpreet Sidhu 399 Rabindra J Vasavada 608 Vikram Iyengar
191 Gyan Prakash 400 Radha Kumar 609 Vikram Soni
192 H Pattabhirama Somayaji 401 Radhavallabh Tripathi 610 Vimala KS
193 Habib Khan 402 Radhika Menon 611 Vineet Gill
194 Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar 403 Rahman Abbas 612 Vineetabh Kumar
195 Hany Babu 404 Rahul Khullar 613 Vishnu Nagar
196 Harbans Mukhia 405 Rajan Joseph Barrett 614 Vishnu Prabhakar
197 Harish K Puri 406 Rajarshi Dasgupta 615 Vivan Sundaram
198 Harsh Mander 407 Rajashri Dasgupta 616 Vivek Monteiro
199 Hindal Haidar Tyabji 408 Rajat Datta 617 Wajahat Habibullah
200 Hiralal Rajasthani 409 Rajendra Chenni 618 Wargis Salamat
201 Hugh Vas 410 Rajesh Umadevi Srinivas 619 Yogendra Yadav
202 Humayun Sait 411 Rajiv Gupta 620 Yogesh Maitreya
203 Husain MG 412 Rajiv Velicheti 621 Yousuf Saeed
204 Iffat Ahmadi 413 Rajneesh Sahil 622 Zafar Agha
205 Indrani Mukherjee 414 Rajni George 623 Zarine Bath
206 Indrapramit Roy 415 Raju Sharma 624 Zasha Colah
207 Inshada 416 Rakesh 625 Zoya Hasan
208 Irfan Ahmad Shah 417 Rakesh Kumar    
209 J Devika 418 Rakhi Basu