INDIA: Law Omits Muslims From Fast-Track Citizenship

The Washington Post reports:

Lawmakers in India enacted a fundamental change to its citizenship law to include religion as a criterion for nationality for the first time, deepening concerns that a country founded on secular ideals is becoming a Hindu state that treats Muslims as second-class citizens. The new law creates a path to citizenship for migrants who belong to several South Asian religions but pointedly excludes Islam, the faith practiced by 200 million Indian citizens.

The measure was approved by a majority of the upper house of India’s parliament in a final vote late Wednesday. Its passage marks the latest political victory for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a strident nationalist in the mold of other right-leaning populist politicians around the globe. Since winning a landslide reelection victory in May, Modi has moved swiftly to implement his party’s agenda of emphasizing Hindu primacy in India, a diverse democracy home to more than 1.3 billion people.