Current Affairs

What is the new citizenship act?

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Hello guys just as we thought 2019 would come to an end without much of ‘Political Drama’, the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Parliament on 11th December 2019, following a nationwide rage against the bill. On December 12, 2019, after receiving the President’s assent, the Citizenship Bill became an act. From the time the bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, and even after it became an act, the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act has not been supported by section a society.

What is CAA OR CAB?

The bill was first passed in Lok Sabha on 9th December 2019 after it’s the second reading. The Citizenship Amendment Act focuses on granting Indian citizenship to the people belonging to various religious communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who have migrated to India before 31st December 2014 from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan due to religious persecution. The bill intends to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration. The cutoff date for citizenship is Dec 31, 2014, which means that the applicant should have entered India before this date.

Why are people protesting against it?

The bill applies to only six communities of India excluding the Muslims and other minor communities. This was seen as discrimination towards Muslims and other religious communities, and hence people started protesting against it. The opposition also argues that this bill was a violation of the constitution as it allows citizenship based on religious grounds. Article 14, of the Indian constitution, guarantees equality to all the citizens and foreigners. This implies that they should not be discriminated based on religious differences
The Indian citizens expressed great disappointment towards this act. Protests broke out in various cities across the country. However, a bit much bitter protest was seen in Assam. The protesters in Assam claimed that during the years 1957 to 1971 the state had borne the stress of many immigrants from different countries, and if more burden is imposed ion the state it would affect the population, culture, traditions, and resources of the state. Due to these issues, the citizens especially Muslims and the Assamese turned against the implementation of the bill.

The TIMELINE of the protests.

As soon as the bill was passed by both houses, protests began #NotoCAB began trending on social media, and social media became a major part of the protest. As the bill became the Act, they continued to grow, especially in the North-Eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya where the internet was shut down, section 144 was imposed and the region was put under curfew.

Citizens show their rage on twitter.

While the majority of protests, by the opposition and in other states are due to the exclusion of Muslims, in Assam the protests are against amendments introduced. The protests in Assam became so violent that people were injured. Some BJP supporters attacked the peaceful protestors while some civilians including a 17-year-old minor also lost their lives in a clash between the Police and the protestors. In Assam, the protest became more violent as the people boycotted the Indo- Japan summit in the city while some protestors also gathered outside the MLA’s houses. Simultaneously, Japan PM Shinzo canceled his visit to India.

Violent protests in Assam.

Meanwhile, protests also took place in many major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bangalore, etc. For the most part, these protests were peaceful in nature.
However, on 15th December, the internet was shut down in some parts of West Bengal as the violent protest continued for the third day in a row. Also, on the same day students from Jama University in Delhi were protesting where there was an unexpectedly violent turn. In the middle of the protests, a bus was burnt down in Delhi, following this there was also stone pelting between the police and the protestors in Delhi. Similarly, students from various universities across India came out for the protests and faced similar actions.

What do we think?

The first problem which the country will come across is regarding the population. We all are very well aware of the fact that Inda is the second most populated country in the world, and the amendment of this bill will further increase the population. Also, after the influx of the immigrant, the country will need to come up with various plans regarding employment opportunities and expand other facilities as well. This will again result in a lot of expenses for the country. Once we provide Indian citizenship to the immigrant it would be very difficult to give them a healthy environment with only limited resources.
India has always been recognized as a secular country. Whenever we have to describe India “Unity in Diversity ” is the first thing that strikes our minds. Since the act applies to only six communities from three countries it raises a question on the secularism of the country. It can further affect the unity among the religions and provoke communal tension.

Although it has been about 20 days since the bill was passed, and although the protests might have started to fade away, there’s still agitation in the citizens against this act and the government.

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