The citizen amendment bill of 2019, aims at providing Indian Citizenship to the non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. This newly passed bill seeks to amend the definition of Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants, who have lived in India without any documentation. The Indian citizenship will be granted to them within the course of six years. Though the Citizen Amendment bill is not applicable to all the refugees and include many clauses.
Who is eligible for the citizen amendment bill?
Well, not all the immigrants are included in this bill. The Citizen Amendment Bill only ensures giving citizenship to those people who are forced or compel to leave their country on grounds of their religion. So, the bill only aims at the non-Muslim residents. The disinherit date for the citizenship is 31st Dec., 2014, this literally means that the applicant should have entered India on or before that date. Under present law, the Indian citizenship, is given to those who are born in India or to those who have lived in the country for a minimum time span of 11 years. According to the Government, the bill is introduced because all such minority groups have come fleeing victimization in these Muslim-majority nations. Although the bill doesn’t protect all religious minorities. Shia Muslims face huge discrimination in in Pakistan, whereas Rohingya’s Muslims and Hindus face persecution in Burma and Christians in Sri Lanka. So the bill is not applicable on all such people, which means not all the neighboring countries are included in the bill. The government said that Muslims can easily seek refuge in Islamic nations, thus are not included in the bill. The citizen Amendment bill also do not include autonomous tribal-controlled regions in India like Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.
The History of this bill:
The Citizen Amendment Bill was initially proposed in Lok Sabha back in 2016. Though the bill wasn’t passed until recently. The Union Cabinet cleared the Bill for Parliament on December 4, 2019 and was passed by the Lok Sabha on December 10 the same year. The bill will be submitted to Rajya Sabha by this Wednesday which means on 11th December. The BJP back in its manifesto included giving citizenship to the Hindu’s persecuted from the neighboring countries but the initial backlash is because the law is going against the national register of citizens
Why there is a backlash?
According to the Citizen Amendment bill, Muslims are not included which by many people means that it is a ply to make Muslims a second class citizen and thus violates the Constitution’s Article 14, the fundamental right to equality to all persons. Some people also refer the law as “Anti Muslim Law”. However, the government response to the bill is not logically wrong though, as per them- why Muslims will be persecuted in Islamic nations, though this doesn’t mean that the sub castes inside the community doesn’t face discrimination. The law somehow is separating people as Muslims and Non-Muslims. To really ensure equality the bill should have included the Muslim religious minorities in it too. But whatever the result would be depends on the implementation of the bill.