Citizenship Amendment Act: Facts You Should Know

Citizenship Amendment Act: Facts On CAA Act

The Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Muslims were not given such eligibility. The act was the first time religion had been used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian law.

Citizenship Amendment Act

The religious persecution of minorities such as Hindus, Sikhs and Christians has been a serious and widespread problem in Pakistan. The Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which leads the Indian government, had promised in previous election manifestos to offer Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from neighboring countries. Under the 2019 amendment, migrants who had entered India by 31 December 2014, and had suffered “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin were made eligible for citizenship. The amendment also relaxed the residence requirement for naturalization of these migrants from eleven years to five. According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, the act will add about 31,300 new citizens to India’s 1.3 billion population. About 25,400 Hindus and 5,800 Sikhs, along with about 60 Christians and other religious minorities, are expected to be immediately eligible for citizenship under the amended Citizenship Act.

Here are the real facts on Citizenship Amendment Act

Is NRC a part of the CAA?

  • No. CAA is a separate law and NRC is a separate process. The CAA has come into force nationwide after its passage from Parliament, while the NRC rules and procedures for the country are yet to be decided. The NRC process that is going on in Assam has been implemented by the Honorable Supreme Court and mandated by the Assam Accord.

Do Indian Muslims need to worry about Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) + National Register of Citizens (NRC)?

  • There is no need for an Indian citizen of any religion to worry about Citizenship Amendment Act or NRC.

Will NRC be for people of a particular religion?

  • No. NRC has nothing to do with any religion at all. NRC is for every citizen of India. It is a citizen register, in which names of every Indian will be recorded.

Will people be excluded in NRC on religious grounds?

  • No, NRC is not about any religion at all. Whenever NRC will be implemented. it will neither be applied on the basis of religion nor can it be implemented on the basis of religion. No one can be excluded just on the basis that he follows a particular religion.

By conducting NRC, will we be asked to present proofs of us being Indian?

  • First of all, it is important to know that at the national level no announcement has been made to begin NRC process. If it is implemented, it does not mean that anyone will be asked for proof of being Indian. NRC is merely a non al process to register your name in the Citizens’ Register. Just like we present our identity cards or any other document for registering our names in the voter list or getting Aadhaar card made, similar documents shall need to be provided for NRC, as and when it is carried out.

How is citizenship decided? Will it be in the hands of government?

  • Citizenship of any person is decided on the basis of The Citizenship Rules, 2009. These roles are based on the Citizenship Act, 1955. This role is publicly in front of everyone. These are five ways for any poison to become a citizen of India:[i] Citizenship by Birth
    [ii] Citizenship by descent
    [iii] Citizenship by registration
    [iv] Citizenship by naturalization
    [v] Citizenship by incorporation

    *Details enclosed in the annexure

Will I have to provide details of birth of parents etc. to prove my Indian citizenship?

  • It would be sufficient for you to provide the details of your birth such as date of birth, month, year and place of birth. If you do not have the details of your birth, then you will have to provide the same details about your parents. But there is absolutely no compulsion to submit any document by the parents. Citizenship can be proved by submitting any documents related to date of birth and place of birth However, a decision is yet to be taken on such acceptable documents. This is likely to include voter curls, passports, Aadhaar, licenses, insurance papers, birth certificates, school leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other similar documents issued by government officials. The list is likely to include more documents so that no Indian citizen has to suffer unnecessarily.

Will I have to provide details of birth of parents etc. to prove my Indian citizenship?

  • It would be sufficient for you to provide the details of your birth such as date of birth, month, year and place of birth. If you do not have the details of your birth, then you will have to provide the same details about your parents. But there is absolutely no compulsion to submit any document by the parents. Citizenship can be proved by submitting any documents related to date of birth and place of birth. However, a decision is yet to be taken on such acceptable documents. This is likely to include voter cards, passports, Aadhaar, licenses, insurance papers, birth certificates, school leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other similar documents issued by government officials. The list is likely to include more documents so that no Indian citizen has to suffer unnecessarily.

If it is so easy to prove identity, then how 19 lakh people in Assam were affected due to NRC?

  • Infiltration is an old problem in Assam. To curb it. there was a movement and in 1985, the then Rajiv Gandhi government, to identify the intruders, had to enter into an agreement to prepare NRC, assuming the cut-off date of 25 March 1971.

During NRC, will we be asked to present old documents, which are difficult to collect?

  • There is nothing like that. Common documents will only be required to prove identity. When the NRC is announced at the national level, then rules and instructions will be made for it in such a way that no ane will face any trouble. The government has no intention of harassing its citizens or putting them in trouble!

What if a person is illiterate and does not have relevant documents?

  • In this case, the authorities will allow that person to bring a witness. Also. other evidence and community verification etc. will also be allowed. A proper procedure will be followed. No Indian citizen will be put in undue trouble.

There are a large number of people in India who do not have homes, are poor and are not educated and they do not even have any basis of identity. What will happen to such people?

  • This is not entirely correct. Such people vote on some basis and they also get the benefit of the welfare schemes of the government. Their identity will be established on the basis of that.

Does NRC exclude anyone for being transgender, atheist adivasis, dalits, women and landless without / without documents?

  • No. NRC, as and when carried out does not affect any of the mentioned above.

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