The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 would not have been required if the country had not been partitioned on religious grounds. Due to the policies of the Congress, the country was divided on the basis of religion.
In the year 1950 Nehru-Liaquat Agreement was signed, in which both the sovereign nations (India and Pakistan) promised that they would protect the minorities of their respective countries. The increased population of minorities in India after independence is a clear indicator that India has lived up to its promise, but the declining population of minorities in the Islamic states like Pakistan and Bangladesh apparently shows that these nations failed in keeping their promise.
The issue of violation of this agreement by Pakistan was repeatedly raised in the Indian Parliament. In 1966, Jana Sangh MP Niranjan Verma asked for information on the status of the agreement, on this, then Foreign Minister Swaran Singh responded that Pakistan was constantly torturing minorities. In 1970, the then Foreign Minister Dinesh Singh also informed that the government is helpless on this agreement and said that even after 20 years, refugees are still coming to India from Pakistan, because Pakistan is not fulfilling their promise to provide security to these people.
This is the situation in Pakistan even today. The need for a Citizenship Amendment Act becomes clear only from these points.
1. What is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) ?
The Citizenship Amendment Act will provide citizenship of India to the people of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian community who are displaced and facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Now those people of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have entered India by the decisive date of 31 December 2014 will be eligible for citizenship of India.
2. Why Muslims are excluded from this?
Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are Muslim majority countries as stated in their constitution. So, Muslims are not oppressed in the name of religion in these countries, hence they are not included in this Act. Remember that the Act benefits specific sections of oppressed communities, there is no discrimination against anyone.
3. Will this Act apply in the North Eastern states ?
The provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Act shall not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram included in the 6th Schedule of the Constitution. Areas regulated under the Inner Line Permit are also exempted from this. Manipur has also been brought under the ambit of ILP.
4. Who are the illegal migrants according to the Citizenship Act, 1955 ?
People entering India without valid passports or travel documents, intruders or those entering with valid documents, but have not returned even after the sanctioned period are all illegal migrants, intruders.
5. Why is there a protest against it ?
The opposition is only spreading this confusion to do to vote bank politics. It is being propagated among Muslims that this law will take away the citizenship of the country from the Muslims. The lie is being propagated that the Muslims of India will be declared as intruders by this law. It is also a misleading propaganda that NRC will be drafted according to this law. The desperate opposition is doing slanderous politics by spreading fear among the Muslims.
Congress betrayed the country
In this historic moment, the Congress once again failed to make atonement on its historical mistakes of Partition of India. By opposing this law, Congress once again proved that it has no relation with Gandhiji’s words, spirit and philosophy. The sentiment contained under the Nehru-Liaquat Agreement is respected in the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. This is a simulation of the well established policy of the Government of India to provide protection to the displaced victims due to religious reasons. But it is the unfortunate politics of the Congress which is devastating human rights by opposing the policy established by Gandhi-Nehru. This is an act of self destruction.
The interests of northeastern states are secured
In order to protect the rights, language, culture, social identity of those who are residing in the northeastern states, the Act has adequate provisions to protect them. This bill will not apply to tribal areas. The security provided in all the states of the Northeast, taking the same forward Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and now Manipur have also been notified in the sixth schedule.
Opposition indulge in politics of petty interests
The opposition is doing politics of petty interests by spreading confusion in the society. It says that the government does not have the constitutional right to enact this act. The issue of citizenship relied on Article 11 in Part II of the Constitution, which gives Parliament the privilege to draw up a detailed framework for Indian citizenship. Due to this the Citizenship Act, 1955 came into existence. Therefore, it is wrong to say that Parliament has no right to change the norms of citizenship, this argument is contrary to the intentions of the constitution makers. The truth is that the Constituent Assembly never finalized the citizenship norms, rather the constitution empowered Parliament to set and finalize the Indian citizenship norms.
There is no doubt that those who are displaced and come to India, will certainly get citizenship. If the law is insufficient in this regard then the law should be changed.
Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India
– (Statement made by Nehru in Parliament on
5 November 1950)
The circumstances that led to my resignation are basically related to the treatment of minorities in Pakistan. The Bengal problem is not territorial. It is an all India level issue and peace and prosperity rests on its proper solution. The economic and political peace and prosperity of the entire country rests on this.
Shyama Prasad Mookerjee as former Minister in India’s first Interim Cabinet
– (Address on resignation from the post of Minister of Industry and Supplies, April 19, 1950)
As far as the treatment towards refugees after the partition of our country is concerned, minorities in countries like Bangladesh have endured persecution and it is our moral obligation that if these unfortunate people seek shelter in our country, our attitude in giving them citizenship should be liberal.
– Dr. Manmohan Singh in Rajya Sabha,
December 18, 2003
Prakash Karat : wrote a letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh on 22 May 2012 on the issue of citizenship of Bengali refugees and said…… minorities have been victims of persecution in countries like Bangladesh. These refugees are obliged to take shelter in our country. It is our moral obligation that we should be generous in giving citizenship to these unfortunate people.
Tarun Gogoi : On 20 April 2012, as the Chief Minister of Assam, submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting that minority refugees from the neighboring country come to India at the time of partition due to discrimination and religious persecution; they should not be treated like foreigners.
Mamta Banerjee : came to the well of Parliament in 2005 and protested that Bangladeshi infiltration in Bengal has been disastrous.