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What is wrong, if anything at all, with Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) 2019?
Can someone explain in simplest of the words what is wrong with the Citizenship Amendment Bill and why are so many students protesting against it? I heard that students of IIT Bombay have joined the protests. If it's already an act now, what is the point of protesting against it?Posted in: #Indian Political
The Citizenship Amendment Bill aka CAB 2019 updates the definition of illegal immigrants from India's neighboring countries namely Pakistan, Afganistan and Bangladesh. The bill applies to immigrants who identify themselves as belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian religions.
Most of these immigrants have been living on Indian soil for years, many without any documentation that identifies them as the citizen of any country.
The CAB 2019 will now grant these immigrants Indian citizenship in about 6 years through fast-tracked process.
Till now, the immigrants required a stay of about 12 years to be eligible for Indian citizenship. The process often was long and unreliable.
In addition, only those people who migrated to India on or before December 31, 2014 are eligible for Indian citizenship.
So, What's Wrong With Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019?
The main point that the opposition is raising is that the eligible religions does not include Islam. Why discriminate against the Muslim immigrants? Well, the government's argument is that all the neighboring nations are Muslim majority nations; and therefore the immigrants cannot be considered as minority.
In addition, the CAB 2019 has exceptions. It does not apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland. Discussing this would need a separate response (maybe later).
Now, the protests are against the CAB 2019 that it tries to identify Muslims as secondary citizens of India. The opposition argues that it violates the Article 14 of the constitution.
I'm not sure what the protests will achieve. The President of India has already signed and the CAB 2019 now a law. I doubt the protests will achieve anything significant.
The term used in the bill is "religious prosecution of minorities".
The govt stand is
(1) that muslims from the above 3 countries are not a religious minority and
(2) refugees from Burmah and Sri lanka are not victims of religious prosecution.