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Citizenship Amendment Act 2019

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Recently passed CAB by Parliament which became Act after getting accent from President erupted a nation wide violence, arguing that it discriminate the Muslims and  and could make Muslims, Stateless. With the passing of this act, there is a series of violence all over the country and thus indefinite curfew, army and parliamentary force rolling across various towns.

What is CAB(Citizenship Amendment Act)

The Act seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without documentation. They will be granted fast-track Indian citizenship in six years. So far 12 years of residence has been the standard eligibility requirement for naturalisation.

The present law applies to those people who were persecuted on the ground of religion and compelled to seek shelter in India. It aims to protect such people from complex and long proceedings of illegal migration. The cut-off date for citizenship is Dec 31, 2014 which means the applicant should have been in India on or before that date.

Other ways to obtain Indian Citizenship.

  • By Birth : A person born in India on or after 26th January 1950 but before 1st July 1987 is a citizen of India by birth irrespective of the nationality of his parents. If born after 1st July 1987 is considered to be Indian citizen if either of his parents is a citizen of India at the time of his/her birth. Further, those born after 3rd Dec 2004 are considered as Indian only if both of their parents are citizen of India or one of whose is Indian citizen and other is not an illegal migrant.
  • By Descent : A person born outside India and who has at least one Indian parent will be granted citizenship provided that the birth is registered within 1 year with the Indian consulate in the jurisdiction.
  • By Registration : The central government may, on a application, register as a citizen of India any person(not being an illegal migrant) if he belongs to any:
    • a person of Indian origin who is ordinarily resident in India for 7 years before making an application.
    • person married to Indian citizen.
    • minor children of persons who are citizens of India.
  • By Naturalisation : Section 6 of the Citizenship Act states a certificate of naturalisation can be granted to a person who is not an illegal immigrant and has resided in India continuously for 12 months before making an application. Additionally, in the 14 years before the 12-month period, the person must have lived in India for at least 11 years (relaxed to five years for the categories covered under the new amendment).

Debatable points:

  • The opposition and some legal experts believes that this law is discriminatory and violating the spirit of law that is the fundamental right of Muslims in India.
  • The Central government did not give its concern toward the minorities of Sri Lanka, Burma, Myanmar and Nepal.
  • This would help non-muslims to get citizenship easily if they are excluded from NRC(future plan to be implemented all over India) and Muslims would be deported or termed as foreigner.
  • Granting citizenship on the ground of religion is against the Secularism of Indian constitution.
  • Other Muslim community like Ahmediya and Shias are also persecuted in Pakistan, why they are not welcomed in the same way.

Rumors:

  • Indian Muslims would be thrown out of the country.
  • Modi led BJP government is trying to make India a Hindu Country by smashing the secular nature of India.

The protest in Assam and other part of country are different from each other as the earlier are protesting to protect their culture while the later are protesting to protect the secular nature of constitution. But, the false and undefined stories are spreading fast, to get political gain by the opposition and to put pressure on government. As the Home minister, Amit Shah said that, “There are attempts to spread misinformation that this bill is against Muslims. Let me put it on record that it is not. This bill is only for minority communities of neighbouring countries. It has nothing to do with Muslims in India”.

 

 

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