In 1955, a law was introduced in the Indian Constitution, which stated that anyone living in India for 11 years could apply for citizenship of the country. It was amended in 2019, saying that all persecuted citizens of the surrounding Muslim-majority countries will get shelter in India.
So, What Exactly is CAA?
The Citizenship Amendment Act states that all minority members of the surrounding Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have illegally immigrated to India, before 2015, will be granted citizenship. However, this opportunity was extended only to members of the Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist communities.
According to ETV News Today and ETV News Live, the government’s logic behind such a decision is that the Muslim community has the Muslim-majority countries to fall back on. Still, the minority communities in these countries, who face persecution for their religious identity need a haven.
What are the Blind Spots?
India’s urge to provide shelter to the less fortunate is understandable. However, there are minority Muslims who have run away from Sri-Lanka and Myanmar. Also, certain Muslim sects like the Rohingya Muslims are not welcome in many Muslim majority countries. The government has maintained silence about these blind spots in the Amendment.
Why Did Such a Bill Pass In The Parliament?
The Bill caters to the communities of Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christians. The members of Parliament belonging to these communities voted for the Bill.
The Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on 9th December 2019 and Rajya Sabha on 11th December. A day later, it was signed by the President too.
Why Has This Bill Suddenly Been Passed?
It all started with the addressing of the immigrant problems in Assam. Over the years, thousands of immigrants crossed the border of Bangladesh and entered India illegally. They have settled in the states of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya etc. As a result, the native population of these states is losing their cultural and political authority. The tribal community in Tripura is completely marginalised because of the insurmountable number of Bangladeshi’s.
To address this problem, the NRC (National Register of Citizens) came into practice, from which it evolved into the CAA.
Perspective Of Assam
ETV News Live shows the residents of Assam are not happy with this new change. They want to take back the authority of their state and to grant citizenship to Bengali-speaking Hindus would result in them losing hold over their state and their numbers marginalised. You should not that Assam is NOT anti- Muslim. They do not want immigrants of any community to invade into their state.
Protests have started since 4th December 2019 ever since this bill got proclaimed. It started first in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and then finally reached the capital, Delhi.
In Delhi, some protestors burnt buses and fought with the police. The police then entered the Jamia Milia University campus claiming they were following those protestors. Upon entering the college, the police started shooting tear-gas shells, and the students were desperately trying to hide inside the building and washrooms. However, these students were beaten up brutally.
This aggressive act by the police exacerbated the riots all over the nation, and all college students joined hands with Jamia Milia and protested against the CAA in solidarity. As such, right now Jami Milia is called the epicentre of anti-CAA protests, where they entered their 15th day of protest on Friday.
Many say the decision taken by the government was to some extent necessary; however, the situation could have been handled better.