What is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)? Long essay in 500 words.
The Citizens Amendment Act (CAA) aims to change the status of illegal immigrants in India. This is particularly beneficial for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parish and Christian immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, who live in the country without any valid documents. All of these immigrants who have suffered religious persecution in their country of origin and then moved to India until December 2014 will obtain Indian citizenship.
Previously, immigrants who belonged to these three countries and six religions were forced to remain in India for at least 11 years before being approved for Indian citizenship. Now the law has been modified so that the duration of the residence is only 5 years.
Is the Citizenship Amendment Law applicable to all states?
CAA does not apply to regions that fall under the sixth calendar of the Constitution, namely the tribal areas of Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram. States such as Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland that have an internal line permit regime are also excluded from this law.
Why has CAA been criticized by opposition parties?
The main opposition parties in India have emphasized that the law is discriminatory because Muslim immigrants are not on the list of communities that can benefit from the law.
The opposition has indicated that Muslims make up almost 15% of the Indian population, and this law excludes immigrants from this community. Therefore, he has been criticized for being inaccurate.
The Indian government has clarified that Muslims are not persecuted minorities in the Islamic countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The government has stated that the law aims to provide assistance specifically to persecuted minorities; therefore, Muslims were not included in the list of beneficiaries.
After the partition, people of various religions resided in these three countries and were victims of religious hostility. Your right to practice and preach the religion of your choice has been restricted for years. These oppressed communities have sought refuge in India for a long time. The government is trying to provide help through the CAA.
The government can also consider requests from other communities and evaluate the validity of these requests on a case-by-case basis.
What kind of criticism has the law received from the citizens of India?
Several political parties have opposed the law and emphasized that this proposal grants citizenship on the basis of religion. Indian citizens (especially students) have also used protests throughout the country. The protests in Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Sikkim, Nagaland, Tripura and Manipur caught the attention of the media.
Protesters in these northeastern states believe that these illegal immigrants will be a burden on the resources of these states and will also threaten job opportunities for current citizens. They also noted that the law does not agree with the 1985 Assam Agreement that states that March 24, 1971 is the deadline for the expulsion of all immigrants who entered India illegally.
The Ministry of Interior has not yet notified the rules that will make this law operational. The Supreme Court will hear several requests against the law in January 2020.
CAA test – Short test in 300 words
On December 12, 2019, the President of India approved the Bill to Amend Citizenship. It became law.
The Citizenship Law (CAA) is expected to benefit persecuted immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who belong to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parish and Christian communities. By law, if these immigrants have sought refuge in India before December 31, 2014, they will obtain Indian citizenship.
Before the CAA entered into force, these illegal immigrants had to reside in the country for at least 11 years in order to apply for citizenship. The CAA has now changed this period of residence to 5 years.
Is CAA applicable to all states of India?
The Citizens Amendment Act will not apply to the tribal areas of Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya and Mizoram, since these areas are included in the sixth calendar of the Constitution. Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland will also be excluded from the CAA because these states have a domestic line permit regime.