CAA is The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019; the Parliament passed this Act on December 11, 2019.
Previously, we had the Citizenship Act of 1955, now CAA 2019 is the modified Act of the previous Act. This act is allowing Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities; who fled from the neighbouring Muslim majority countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan before December 2014 due to “religious or fear of religious persecution”?
Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)
However, this Act excludes Muslims from this list. The migrants who came in India by December 31, 2014, and had endured “religious” or fear of religious persecution” in their nation will be made qualified for citizenship under CAA 2019. These types of migrants will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years.
The BJP, which is driving the Indian government at present, had guaranteed in past political decision proclamations to offer Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from neighbouring nations. Under the 2019 Amendment, migrants who had come in India by 31 December 2014, and had endured “Religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their nation of the cause were made qualified for citizenship.
Why people are protesting against CAA?
In India, there have prevalent protests across the country against the CAA 2019. Also in Assam and other northeastern states, this protest turned into violent over the fear. People said that this Act will cause a loss of their Political Rights, land rights, and culture. Also, it motivates further migration from Bangladesh and other countries.
Some people said that the CAA discriminates the Muslims and violates the Constitutional article i.e. right to equality. The people also raised questions on the exclusion of persecuted religious minorities from other regions such as Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar.
What Central Government has to say about CAA?
In its defence, the Central Government has stated that Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Muslim-majority countries therefore Muslims are “unlikely to face religious persecution” there.
What is the status of filed petitions challenging the constitutional validity of CAA?
A few different solicitors incorporate Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind, All Assam Students Union (AASU), Peace Party, CPI. NGOs ‘Rihai Manch’ and Citizens against Hate, advocate M. L. Sharma, and law understudies have additionally moved toward the zenith court testing the Act. The supreme court has given notification to the Center and looked for its reaction constantly. On the 7th day of January 2020 a group of pleas challenging the CAA. A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde had fixed a bunch of 59 petitions, including those recorded by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and Congress pioneer Jairam Ramesh, for hearing on January 22.
Relationship to NRC
The NRC is a registry of every single lawful resident, whose development and upkeep was ordered by the 2003 amendment of the Citizenship Act. you can also read our article on NRC. As of January 2020, it has only been implemented for the state of Assam. However, the BJP has guaranteed its implementation for the entire of India in its 2019 political race statement. The NRC records all the lawful residents with the goal that the individuals who are forgotten about can be perceived as unlawful workers (frequently called “foreigners”).
The Assam NRC declared many people as “foreigners” due to the lack of proper documents. There are concerns that the present amendment of the Citizenship Act will provide a “shield” to non-Muslims. They can claim that they were migrants who fled persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh, while on the other hand; Muslims do not have such a benefit of CAA. Such a claim may be possible only for people in the Border States who have some ethnic resemblance to the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh, but not to the people of Interior States.
Muslim leaders have interpreted the CAA–NRC package in precisely. He said that CAA and NRC are targeting Muslims as potential foreigners, leaving out all non-Muslims.
In an interview with India Today, Home Minister Amit Shah offered consolation that no Indian resident needs to stress. “We will make special arrangements to guarantee that no Indian resident from minority communities is misled in the NRC procedure.” But the Indian Express brought up that the motivation behind the NRC is exactly to distinguish the Indian residents. So these references to “Indian residents” stay unexplained.