The very idea of CAA was perceived in other angle and brought another by-product to India called false patriotism among a certain group of people and community. How far their stand is correct? Let’s discuss.
Now we have two questions in front of us.
Why some sect of people opposing this?
Why a particular community was false informed that their citizens are at stake by some malignant people?
There could be only two reasons; vote bank and illegal activities.
Before we discuss that, we should know what this CAA- Citizenship Amendment Act is all about?
This constitution was implemented in 1950, guaranteed citizenship to all of the country’s residents at the commencement of the constitution and made no distinction on the basis of religion and subsequently passed the Citizenship Act in 1955.
The Citizenship Act was first amended in 1985 after the Assam Accord (The Assam Accord was a Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement. It was led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the protestors demanded the identification and deportation of all illegal foreigners – predominantly Bangladeshi immigrants) was signed, wherein the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi agreed to identify foreign citizens, remove them from the electoral rolls, and expel them from the country. The Citizenship Act was further amended in 1992, 2003, 2005 and 2015.
In December 2003, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 with far-reaching revisions of the Citizenship Act. It added the notion of “illegal immigrants” to the Act, making them ineligible to apply for citizenship (by registration or naturalisation), and declaring their children also as illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants were defined as citizens of other countries who entered India without valid travel documents, or who remained in the country beyond the period permitted by their travel documents. They can be deported or jailed. The bill was supported by the Indian National Congress, as well as the Left parties, such as the Communist Party of India (Marxist), CPI-M, etc.
The irony is, the parties who were supporting the Act so far, are now opposing. What could be else than getting political mileage on this? It is very apparent that they are for mere vote bank. For them, politics is a business, not a service anymore. It is their matter of survival. Citizens and their welfare are secondary, indeed.
A very large number of illegal immigrants, the largest numbers of whom are from Bangladesh, live in India. The Task Force on Border Management quoted the figure of 15 million illegal migrants in 2001. In 2004, the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government stated in Parliament that there were 12 million illegal Bangladeshi migrants in India. The reasons for the scale of migration include a porous border, historical migration patterns, economic reasons, and cultural and linguistic ties. Many illegal migrants from Bangladesh had eventually received the right to vote.
Recently, Parliament of India on 11 December 2019 amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014. Muslims from those countries were not given such eligibility. According to Intelligence Bureau records, there will be just over 30,000 immediate beneficiaries of the bill.
The amendment has been widely criticised as discriminating on the basis of religion, in particular, for excluding Muslims. The Indian government categorically says that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh have Islam as their state religion and therefore Muslims are “unlikely to face religious persecution” there. Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Muslim-majority countries that have modified their Constitutions in recent decades to declare Islam their official state religion. Therefore, according to the Indian government, Muslims in these Islamic countries are “unlikely to face religious persecution”. The BBC states that while these countries have provisions in their constitution guaranteeing non-Muslims rights, including the freedom to practice their religion, in practice non-Muslim populations have experienced discrimination and persecution.
Interestingly, Muslims in India today hoisting Indian flags in their houses, only to show their patriotism in this way. If that is the case, were they not patriotic all these years? How patriotism suddenly sprouts to anybody and that to a particular community? Why do they need to worry to prove their citizenship if they are genuine Indian citizen?
The Citizenship Act, 1955 clearly states that anyone born in India on or after January 26, 1950, up till July 1, 1987, is an Indian citizen by birth. Anyone born on or after July 1, 1987, but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and either of whose parents is an Indian citizen at the time of his birth is an Indian citizen. And anyone born after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 and both of whose parents are Indian citizens at the time of his birth.
A genuine Indian citizen has to furnish any one of the following documents when asked:
- 1951 NRC
- Electoral roll(s) up to 24 March (midnight), 1971
- Land and tenancy records
- Citizenship certificate
- Permanent residential certificate
- Refugee registration certificate
- Any government-issued license/certificate
- Government service/employment certificate
- Bank or post
Similar acts for persecuted religious minorities, excluding the majority religion, have been introduced in other secular countries such as the United States. The Religious Persecution Relief Act, 2016 of the United States declares, “Syrian nationals who are religious minorities in their country of origin: shall be classified as refugees of special humanitarian concern, shall be eligible for priority two processing under the refugee resettlement priority system
India is not a signatory to either the 1951 UN Refugee Convention or the 1967 Protocol. It does not have a national policy on refugees. All refugees are classed as “illegal migrants”. While India has been willing to host refugees, its traditional position formulated by Jawaharlal Nehru is that such refugees must return to their home countries after the situation returns to normal.
The Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of Tweets, said that “No Indian has anything to worry regarding this act. This act is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go except India”.
The United States Secretary of State said that the US respects Indian democracy since it has a “robust” internal debate on the Citizenship Act.
Deputy Russian Ambassador to India, Roman Babushkin, said that Russia considers the legislation an internal matter of India.
Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain, said that France considers the legislation an internal matter of India and respects it.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, “Within India, people are facing many problems” and expressed her concerns saying, “We don’t understand why (the Indian government) did it. It was not necessary”. However, she maintained her stance that the CAA and NRC are internal matters of India.
Maldives’ Parliament Speaker and former president, Mohamed Nasheed, said that CAA is an internal issue of India and was democratically passed through both the houses of the Parliament.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, as expected, criticised the Act. Pakistan’s National Assembly passed a resolution labelling the Act as a “discriminatory law” and argued that it contravened “bilateral agreements and understandings between India and Pakistan, particularly those on security and rights of minorities in the respective countries”. However, the record of the minorities’ Human rights in Pakistan is terrible.
The bottom line is, India is not a piece of land where anybody can just enter illegally and get all legal facilities that a son of the soil gets.
If no action is taken even now, not Assam alone but the entire country will face Hindu citizen will face religious persecution in their own country. There are so many Christian and Muslim countries in this World but for Hindus, India is the only country and they cannot move to another country on the basis of religious persecution. Hence any Hindus in non-Hindu counties who seek the citizenship in India, it should be duly considered based on the reason. If a Hindu doesn’t get asylum in India, where he/she will go?
Being a Hindu majority country, India is remaining secular and no other religions including Christians and Muslims in India face any restrictions on practising their religion. The entire world owes a lot to India for her secularism, tolerance and equal constitutional powers among all her citizens irrespective of any religion.
India is a huge population nation wherein her own citizens do not get proper health care and education and other facilities, from where India would provide these to illegal immigrants.
(Thanks to wikipedia.org for some source of information)