Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA): Solving Key Issues for Citizens

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Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA): Solving Key Issues for Citizens

The central government of India had proposed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 which is now implemented in 2024, weeks ahead of the Lok Sabha 2024 elections. The official notification on the implementation of the CAA came on Monday, 11th March 2024. According to the Citizenship Amendment Rules, 2024, the law is enabling the implementation of the CAA that grants citizenship of India to refugees who had sought shelter in India before 31st December 2014 because of religious persecution in three countries- Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. This act faced numerous delays due to excessive criticism from refugees, particularly Muslims. 

During the implementation of the CAA, the Union government shared the rules for it. Now, the Modi-led government will commence granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who migrated to India up until 31st December 2024, after the issuance of the CAA regulations. These consist of Hindus, Christians, Jains, Parsis, Sikhs and Buddhists. Although this rule was proposed in 2019, many are still confused about its need and what exactly its aim is. 

What Is the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 

The vision behind implementing this act is to protect individuals who sought refuge in the country because of religious persecution. The CAA works as a defence against illegal migration proceedings. Those who are looking to apply for citizenship in India need to submit the document that proves their entry in India on or before 31st December 2014. Presently, the citizenship of India is granted to those born in the country or who have lived in India for at least eleven years. The submitted amendment also includes a provision for the abolishment of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration if the OCI cardholder breaches any provision of the Citizenship Act including other applicable laws. 

What Are The Key Issues

The Modi-led government has shared the key issues that the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act might be able to solve, as per the report of the media outlet. The report further added that the CAA would help to pull out “legal barriers to rehabilitation and citizenship” and “give a dignified life to refugees who have struggled and suffered for decades.” 

The latest citizenship act will protect the social, cultural and linguistic identity of the refugees. According to the reports of the source, citizenship rights will also ensure free movement, economic, property purchase, and commercial rights. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 was passed in Parliament in December 2019. The  House of the People passed the Bill on 9th December 2019, whereas the Council of the States passed the bill on 11th December 2019. The President gave the acceptance of the bill on 12th December 2019. 

When the bill came into the news it led to countrywide protests against it in 2019-20. Thousands of women direct the protest by stopping a major road at Shaheen Bagh. The protest that began in December 2019 was eventually postponed because of the outbreak of the global pandemic. The issue was that, although it aimed to provide Indian citizenship to Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Hindus, and Christians more quickly than others, it left out Muslims who had fled religious persecution in the three nations on the list and immigrated to India.

Also Read: IMF Predicts India and Three Others as Key Contributors to Global Growth

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