CAA – Citizenship Amendment Act

 


Citizenship Amendment Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha, states that if a person belonging to Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi, or Christian community or one who has migrated from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan (on or before 31st Dec 2014) is no longer an illegal immigrant to the nation. Each of the categories mentioned above would receive Indian Citizenship. Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) later became the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in December 2019.

Exceptions:

  • The Act does not apply to tribal areas of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam, and Meghalaya because of being included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution.
  • Also, areas that fall under the Inner Limit notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, will also be outside the Act’s purview.

Why has the CAA been criticized by opposition parties?

India’s major opposition parties highlighted that the law is discriminatory as Muslims are not included in the list of immigrant communities that may benefit from the Act.

The opposition indicated that Muslims constitute around 15% of the Indian population, and the act excludes immigrants from that community. Therefore, it was criticized for being uneven.

The Indian government clarified that Muslims were not persecuted in the Islamic countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. The government said that the Act specifically provides relief to persecuted minorities; Therefore, Muslims were not included in the list of beneficiaries.

Conclusion

There were also widespread protests in the northeastern states of India. The protesters are of the opinion that these illegal immigrants will break the economic, social, and political fabric of the northeastern states. They can also be a threat to the employment opportunities of residents living in these areas. Its objectives and reasons clearly stated that such refugees who have entered India before 31 December 2014 need special statutory arrangements for their citizenship-related subjects. The Ministry of Home Affairs has not yet notified the rules that will make the Act operational. There are several petitions against the Act which are to be heard in the Supreme Court in January 2020.

E.LALITHA 

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