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“India is, and has been since independence in 1947, a liberal secular democracy. Its first generation of leaders resolutely refused to accept the argument of Pakistan’s founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah that the Hindus and the Muslims of the subcontinent represented two different nations. Thus, while Pakistan became a Muslim homeland, India insisted it was a state for citizens of all creeds. Whatever else might have changed in the seven decades since, that much has remained true.
Till now. For the first time, India’s leaders have sought to redefine the country effectively as a home for South Asians that aren’t Muslims — and they’re enshrining the distinction into law. That’s the underlying message of a bill that was passed this week by the lower house of India’s Parliament, in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has a majority.
The new law amends the religion-blind Citizenship Act written in the early years of Indian independence “to facilitate acquisition of citizenship by six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.” Calling them “persecuted migrants,” the government minister who introduced the amendment said “they have nowhere to go but India.””
JJ Editor's Picks
"Let’s hope the February meeting does not occur. Trump had been successful through the middle of May of last year when he was pressuring—but not talking to—the North Koreans."
"...taking seriously Dr. King’s critique of Northern liberalism means also calling out liberal public officials and residents who profess commitments to equality yet maintain a corrupt criminal justice system and a segregated school system."
"There are now three “states” involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Hamas in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and Israel. Any attempt to move the peace process forward must account for this reality."
"In director Chris Smith's new Netflix documentary, Fyre – about the "elephant of a clusterf--k" that Fyre Festival actually became – we see footage of tech entrepreneur and Fyre founder Billy McFarland telling a bunch of the world's biggest supermo"
"The government shutdown flooded folks with fear. Yet it shouldn’t. The aftermath of shutdowns is also great, with U.S. stocks averaging 12.8 percent in the next 12 months."
"Channel surfing feels futile, if not obsolete. TV is no longer a remote-controlled menu to peruse as much as it’s a Tube Goldberg machine carrying our eyes from one diversion to the next."
"Natalie Wynn, the creator of the comico-philosophical YouTube channel ContraPoints, wanted to make a video that was both more trenchant and entertaining than the others. "
"Fukuyama’s new book does contain a thesis. As it happens, the new idea stands in the sharpest possible contrast to the older one. Liberal democracy, far from showing us a glimpse of a universalist future, now, we are told, faces a severe crisis. "
"...the FDA's newfound sense of urgency regarding teen e-cigarette use is overdue. Beyond the nicotine in e-cigarettes, there are other less well-understood chemical threats like diacetyl..."
"Vegetable-themed snacks like cauliflower puffs and Peatos aren’t traditional potato chips, but they’re not not chips, either."
"Homo erectus was in the news over 2018 thanks to new discoveries in the Philippines and China, which have transformed our understanding of this not too distant family member."
"I am Jewish and queer. But neither of these identities managed to make an impact on the co-chairs of the Women’s March as I begged them, again and again, to take my pain seriously."