Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019: Why it triggered protests
NEW DELHI: Students across India have expressed solidarity against police crackdown on Jamia Millia Islamia and students of Aligarh Muslim University which took place on December 15 when students protested at these two campuses against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019.
Many protests have been organized around the country protesting since it was tabbed in the Lok Sabha this month and passed by the Rajya Sabha last week.
Here's everything you need to know about the Citizenship Act?
- What is the Citizenship (Amendment) Act?
The bill is now an Act that makes it easier for non-Muslim immigrants from Indian neighbors - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan - to become Indian citizens. Although the Bill clearly does not spell it out, but the fact that it allows Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who face religious persecution in three countries, to find citizenship of India, features exclusion of Muslims. The Act stated that the refugees of the six communities would be granted Indian citizenship after living in India for five years, instead of 11 years before.
- Who will benefit from the law?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis - from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014. The law applies to those who are forced or forced to seek refuge in India because of religious persecution ”. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration from neighboring countries. The requirement to stay in India for belonging to any of these 6 religions for at least 11 years before applying for Indian citizenship has been reduced to five years. Indian citizenship, under current law, is granted to either born in India or if they have been resident in the country for at least 11 years.
- What made the Citizenship Act so controversial?
There are two distinct rallying points of protest against the Law. In the northeast, protest was against the implementation of the Law in their areas. Most of them fear that if implemented, the Act will cause a rush of immigrants who may change their demographic and linguistic and cultural differences. In other parts of India, such as in Kerala, West Bengal and Delhi, people are protesting against the exclusion of Muslims, saying it is against the ethics of the Constitution because religion is a standard in the granting of Indian citizenship. of immigrants.
- Who is not included in the purview of the Law?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act does not apply to the tribal areas of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya because it is included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution. Areas falling under the Inner Limit as defined under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, are also outside the purification of the Act. It keeps almost all of Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur and Nagaland out of the reach of the Act. This is also why there have been such protests in Assam and Tripura as only a small portion of these states are protected, leaving most of the state open to the implementation of the Citizenship Act.
- How does the National Register of Citizens (NRC) connect with the Citizenship Act?
The NRC, which introduced illegal immigrants from Assam, has long been appealing to Assam. But since its implementation, there has been a growing demand for implementation across the country. After the last updated NRC in Assam was released on August 31 this year, it did not include the names of more than 19 lakh applicants, including Hindus. Now, the CAA will make sure they are not harmed. The NRC, which can be extended overseas, is not religious, unlike the CAB.
- The government's stance on the CAA
The Center rejected suggestions that the bill was anti-Muslim. Home minister Amit Shah said the proposal had the endorsement of 130 crore citizens of the country as it was part of the BJP's manifesto in 2014 as well as the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Act does not discriminate against anyone and does not get anyone's rights, Shah said. The home minister said under the Act, citizenship would be granted to refugees coming from three countries after facing religious persecution there despite no documents, including ration cards. This bill is not even .001 percent against Muslims. It was against infiltrators, the home minister said.