In this blog, I shall discuss the much-discussed topic of the moment which has resulted in nationwide unrest - NRC (National Register of Citizens) and CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) (earlier CAB -Citizenship Amendment Bill). I shall in this blog try to summarize each part and portion of the debate and try to deduce the best possible conclusion and let the viewers and readers have clarity in the whole concept behind the same along with history which must be taken into consideration when we deal with issues which are sensitive in nature.
This blog shall guide a reader through the basic knowledge about CAA and NRC and shall just deal with the topic for understanding purpose. Brief scrutiny, however, shall be done later.
At the outset let me start by saying that, the whole issue related to NRC and CAB has turned out to become a violent protest which isn't democratic at all, the result of which, I would like to say, is the stern warning issued by CJI BOBDE to the students of Jamia clearly directing that the rioting must stop.
The basic and fundamental purpose of the ‘CAA’ is to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities in 3 countries namely, - Afghanistan, Pakistan & Bangladesh. When I use the word persecuted it means a particular person who has been suffering as a minority in these three nation-states because of his religion. Another reason to bring ‘CAA’ is to provide respite to the flabbergasting downslide of minority populations so that they survive and not become extinct. All three nation-states when back-traced by History were a part of ‘Undivided India’ and therefore India does owe certain responsibility to these persecuted minorities.
Coming to NRC, the basic purpose of it is to create a register of citizens, which was not maintained after 1951. It is applicable to all religions and both Hindus and Muslims will be subjected to the same. The aim is to filter out illegal immigrants and also to maintain a record of citizens. The same at first had been carried out in Assam and was governed by the Supreme Court.
However, NRC is at its premature stage and is still in the form of a bill that is still being speculated upon.
Apart from social media propaganda, not many have even bothered to read the bill (now an Act) and understand the crux behind it. Many say it is against the Muslim community. However, in my honest opinion, it is not. This might sound harsh and unemotionally cold but when we do the math we find 56 Islamic countries that support minorities including India, and when we talk about Hindus I fail to find any other country. The ones who say Hindus will be granted citizenship have maybe not even read section 6B(2) of the CAA. Coming to the protests, if there is something wrong let the Apex Court decide it.
Secularism does not give you the right to vandalize public property. NRC isn't new, this was also proposed during the Congress Government. There have been controversial videos and I personally do not know which ones to trust. Whether it be the crying lady being molested in Jamia or the authorities denying it completely. The news in the air is that this discriminates religion and is non-secular. Well against popular belief the people advocating this have probably forgotten that India in itself was divided on the basis of religion and since 1947 the Muslims here have been respected and will remain to be respected. There are provisions of appeal, provisions to prove you are a citizen. And as harsh as it may sound if you play the card of secularism, be secular enough to not vandalize public property. And if the new laws are wrong, the SC will do justice. But please read the bills before you form a social media opinion.
"Even the word secularism was inserted by an amendment in the Constitution".
Some myths which need to be cleared before I end this blog.
- CAA is a specific amendment to the Original Citizenship Act, 1955.
- CAA does not change the Original Act in totality.
- CAA specifically deals with persecuted minorities.
- CAA does not grant citizenship immediately to any persecuted minority who seeks Indian citizenship. Therefore they shall act and stay as asylum seekers/refugees.
- Persecuted minorities under CAA are given a compliance relief as per the Original Act wherein the naturalization period has been reduced to 6yrs.
- Muslims can opt for Indian Citizenship however they need to comply to original rules for citizenship as per part 2 of the Constitution of India read with Citizenship Act, 1955.
- CAA is just like any other provisional allotment subject to fulfillment of certain terms and conditions, failure of which shall lead to non-issuance of citizenship.
- CAA is for outside India 'persecuted minorities' from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Whereas, NRC is related to the People of India.
- CAA and NRC are not interlinked. As they clearly deal with two heterogeneous state subjects.
- CAA is based on the History of the not so well known 'Nehru-Liaquat Pact' of 1950, the basic purpose of which was mutual understanding of protecting and granting minority rights in both countries at a considerable cost of minorities in the other nation who shall be treated as hostages and act as bargain in case of non-compliance.
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