Dec 22, 2019

Modi defends citizenship law that excludes Muslims while protests rage

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi at a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 22. Photo: Prakash Singh/AFP via Getty Images

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the country's new citizenship law that excludes Muslims at a rally for his Hindu nationalist party on Sunday, accusing opponents of the bill of pushing India into a “fear psychosis," AP reports.

Why it matters: The law passed by Parliament earlier this month allows religious minorities from neighboring countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted because of their religion, but it does not apply to Muslims. The move has set off nationwide protests and international outcry, with 23 people killed since the demonstrations began.

What he's saying: “People who are trying to spread lies and fear, look at my work. If you see any trace of divisiveness in my work, show it to the world. ... They are trying every tactic to push me out of power,” Modi said, according to AP.

In photos

India protestors
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot (C) along with Congress Party leaders, workers and supporting parties take part in a march against India's new citizenship law in Jaipur. Photo: Vishal Bhatnagar/AFP via Getty Images
India protestors
Supporters of the citizenship law wave the Indian flag during a demonstration held in solidarity with the new legislation at the Town Hall in Bangalore. Photo: Manjunath Kiran/AFP via Getty Images
Indian protestors
Demonstrators shout slogans and display placards to protest against the government's Citizenship Amendment Bill and National Register of Citizens at India Gate in New Delhi. Photo: Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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