India

Centre Notifies Rules for CAA: Stirs the Indian Political Arena Across Different Levels

The new legislation aims to uplift persecuted minorities by granting them Indian citizenship based on the specific time they entered the Indian territory.

On 11th March 2024, the Government of India, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, officially notified the rules of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 to kickstart the process of registering and granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh in order to safeguard them from continued religious persecutions. The implementation was announced after an absence of about four years. It aims to provide Indian citizenship on a fastrack basis to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis entering India on or before 31st December 2014.

 

CAA: Things to know about the ‘Shield Against Religious Injustice’

The Bharatiya Janta Party has repeatedly stated that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) serves as a protective measure for religious minorities who have fled to India due to religious persecution in specific countries. They have described it as a ‘shield’ to safeguard these individuals.

  • The six religious minorities who will be granted citizenship under the new legislation are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian, who are actively fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. 
  • Muslims are not included in CAA as they are not in the minority in the specified countries.
  • The citizenship will be granted to those who entered India from these countries on or before 31st December 2014. 
  • CAA is an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955. According to CAA, the migrants will be granted fast-track Indian citizenship in six years. 
  • The amendment also relaxed the residence requirement for the 
  • The naturalisation of these migrants from eleven years to five differs from the previous norm of a 12-year residency requirement. 

 

Chronology of CAA’s Entrance 

The official announcement of the CAA implementation acted as a catalyst for growing political scrutiny from the opposition, which has firmly accused the centre of acting on a business-like time and goal-based model with which they aim to achieve deviation and publicity for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, which will be held between April and May 2024. With the country’s most crucial election approaching, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing similar accusations from his critics that he is pursuing his ambitious goal of securing a third term in office with the help of a carefully planned CAA implementation. 

The opposition has openly called for the collective repelling of the new citizenship amendment act, and leaders such as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin have even stated that the CAA will not be implemented in his state. 

 

Defending the critical line of defence introduced for persecuted minorities

Home Minister Amit Shah was quick to encounter the daunting accusations by various opposition leaders who laid out severe observations against the newly implemented law. He has openly declared their claims as baseless and ensured that the act has no such provisions that can take away the citizenship of any Indian. While iterating the main focus of the CAA, Shah said that the new law would help give a new ray of hope to crores of religious minorities who had fled from India’s neighbouring countries in order to protect their women, dharma and self-respect and now they have finally found the home they came looking for in India. 

 

Assam Witnesses a Series of Anti-CAA Rallies: Seeks Legal Stay in SC

Following the historic notification of the CAA, the state of Assam saw a significant number of torch rallies organised by various organisations in order to repel the new citizenship law and also move to the Supreme Court, seeking a stay on it. All Assam Students Union also stated that they had filed an affidavit in the apex court on Tuesday seeking a stay on the CAA rules. 

The reasons behind their protest are that they believe the CAA is a product of an unconstitutional piece of legislation, which is also unconstitutional, and that the CAA violated the 1985 Assam Accord, a pact born out of the six-year-long anti-foreigners movement led by AASU. They emphasise that they are against the CAA because it threatens the culture and identity of the Assamese people.

Notably, the state’s Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma strongly asserted that he would immidietly resign from his position if a single person other than those who had applied for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens (NRC) acquired citizenship under the amended citizenship law.

 

Read more: Ladakh’s quest for sixth scheduled status

Andrew s

Andrew has been in the online publishing industry. After receiving his degree in professional journalism from the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, he contributed to multiple websites as a freelance writer and feature editor. Mostly, Andrew tackles controversies and theories that lead to a specific conclusion that either debunk or justify a particular claim. Further, Andrew participates in social developments that aim to simplify every individual's way of life and fight for peace. He is the new Editor-in-Chief of Pressroom Today.

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