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Protest against the Indian government's citizenship amendment bill. Photo: Arindam Dey/AFP/Getty Images

India passed a citizenship amendment on Wednesday that, for the first time, makes religion a criterion of acquiring Indian nationality, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Concerns continue to grow that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is turning the country into a Hindu nationalist state. The amended citizenship law creates a pathway to citizenship for Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi and Sikh migrants who fled from Pakistan and Afghanistan before 2015, but excludes Muslims entirely, Al Jazeera reports.

  • The exclusion of Muslims from the law shows "Muslims are not on the same footing" as others in India, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, a political scientist, told the Post.

The big picture: Modi is quickly implementing his party's nationalistic and right-leaning objectives that emphasize a Hindu identity, per the Post.

  • Modi reclaimed the hotly contested Jammu and Kashmir region after seven decades, stripping the predominantly-Muslim state of its semiautonomous status.
  • India's Supreme Court unanimously ruled that a Hindu temple can be erected on disputed land, instead of a mosque, ending a decades-long dispute in the country.

Worth noting: The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recommended that the Trump administration consider sanctions against Indian Home Minister Amit Shah if the bill passes, according to Al Jazeera.

The bottom line: "Hindu nationalist ideologues view India’s history as a series of humiliations — centuries of rule by Muslim kings followed by British colonialism — that must be redressed," the Post writes.

Go deeper ... Kashmir crackdown: A warning of nuclear war between India and Pakistan

Go deeper

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenge to affirmative action at Harvard, UNC

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a pair of cases challenging the consideration of race in the college admissions processes.

Why it matters: The conservative high court's ruling could determine the future of affirmative action in higher education.

Europe's energy reliance on Russia is a crucial shield for Putin

Photo: Pavel Bednyakov/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

Cracks in the NATO alliance regarding sanctions for Russia should President Vladimir Putin order troops into Ukraine are in large part based on energy supply concerns.

Why it matters: Russia holds tremendous leverage over some European countries because it provides roughly 40% of Europe's natural gas supply. In Germany, this figure is greater than 50%.

Why the Fed might want to jolt the markets

Fed chair Jerome Powell at a hearing earlier this month. Photo: Brendan Smialowski-Pool/Getty Images

So far, financial markets are cooperating nicely with the Federal Reserve's efforts to restrain inflation. They're doing the Fed's work for it by creating tighter financial conditions, in a distinctly non-panicky way.

  • But as the central bank's policymakers meet this week, an underlying question they face is whether the adjustment is happening too slowly.