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Thursday, July 25, 2024, 3:06 am

Thursday, July 25, 2024, 3:06 am

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CAA explained better

CAA explained better
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Nor the Ganga nor the Brahmaputra have been ignited by the Center’s decision to enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 by publishing the regulations on Monday. All throughout the nation, things have stayed mostly calm, with the exception of a few sporadic protests. The massive outcry the bill caused when it was enacted by Parliament stands in stark contrast to this. Seldom was there an area where a sizable crowd did not demonstrate in opposition. For many days, a major thoroughfare in Delhi was stopped by thousands of women. When Covid-19 froze the country for many weeks, the protest lost a lot of its vigour. Normally, six months after the presidential assent, the law would have been notified. The Centre persisted in requesting extensions to keep the notice in effect, to the point where many believed it had been terminated.

To give Union Home Minister Amit Shah his due, he continued to assure the public that the government was committed to enacting the CAA in its existing capacity. In the years between 2019 and 2024, a lot happened. People nowadays are more aware than ever of the implications of the legislation. The fact that religion was elevated to a standard in a secular nation is among the law’s main problems. However, the statute only applies to people who fled Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan due to persecution for their religious beliefs. And all of that prior to December 31, 2014! It is rare for any Muslim to face persecution due to their faith, as the three countries are Islamic in nature. Due to persecution experienced by Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, and Christians in various nations, they are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship, provided they have been residents for a predetermined amount of time.

The most persecuted groups in Pakistan include sects like the Ahmadiyyas, who identify as Muslims. Furthermore, some Muslims had a falling out with the establishment as a result of their support for individuals who were persecuted by the imposition of blasphemy laws against them. They won’t be allowed to apply for asylum in the nation or finally become citizens. To be granted citizenship, all applicants must demonstrate that they were persecuted in their home countries prior to fleeing to India. The purpose of the CAA was to confer citizenship, not to withhold it. The public has been persuaded over the past five years via conversations and arguments that the law is not inherently anti-Muslim. It is understandable why so many Islamic organisations embraced it as well. All of this clarifies why this time’s protest was unworthy of the term.

It is hard to accept, nevertheless, that the law has been enacted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration out of altruism. Had it waited until after the elections, the sky would not have collapsed. It may have delegated the authority to the newly elected government. Maybe the ruling party believed that the CAA would exacerbate social and political divisions, which would work to its favour in the Lok Sabha polls. Either way, the BJP has always benefited from polarisation. Chief ministers who make claims that their states would not implement the CAA, such as Pinarayi Vijayan and Mamata Banerjee, are not telling the truth. Such abilities do not belong to them.

There are concerns over the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NCR) and how they will be implemented, even though the CAA is nothing to be scared of. People, particularly Muslims, faced several challenges in Assam, the only state with such a record, to demonstrate that they and their ancestors had been in India till 1971 if they were to avoid deportation. Bangladeshi “illegal migrants” have been threatened with deportation from wherever they have been staying, according to Amit Shah. Given that it is their responsibility to demonstrate their citizenship, individuals may encounter several challenges. Additionally, it would lead to diplomatic disputes because Dhaka has been opposing allegations of illegal immigration from Bangladesh. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that over 25 lakh Indians travel abroad each year. Legally, not all of them!

Abhishek Verma

 

 


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