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Citizenship Amendment Bill purpose is to address Partition fallout: Madhav

The move to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, is a humanitarian obligation that the country has to fulfil to address the Partition’s fallout, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said.

, ET Bureau|
Dec 06, 2019, 07.09 AM IST
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NEW DELHI: The move to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, is a humanitarian obligation that the country has to fulfil to address the Partition’s fallout, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has said.

“Right now, the process is more about inclusion of refugees who for years faced the Partition’s wrath,” Madhav said, adding the issue of illegal migrants will be taken up at a later stage. He said a mechanism has been suggested by stakeholders to make registration under CAB ‘as simple as possible’.

“We have suggested a certain mechanism to ensure that the burden of proof is as much on the government as it is on migrants. Both will work together so that the process is made simple for refugees,” Madhav said, adding, “Since India’s Partition was on religious lines, it had fallouts, particularly largescale migration of minorities that continued way beyond the fifties and well into the eighties. The nonintrusive provisions will consolidate the position of these people as citizens of the country.”

Madhav said CAB was not about our domestic religious situation but about the situation in our neighbourhood. “The issue of illegal migration will be taken up subsequently. If X is the cutoff year, any Hindu, Buddhist or Christian coming after that becomes an illegal migrant. NRC will deal with it after this,” he said.

On the criticism that the bill would affect the secular fabric of the country, Madhav said it was important to distinguish between refugees facing religious persecution and the political asylumseekers.

“Over 1 lakh (Sri Lankan) refugees live in Tamil Nadu who are not covered under CAB. This is because they are refugees because of a certain political situation.” “Laws allow people to gain citizenship but here we are dealing with a situation where one part is a minority which came to India seeking refuge because of religious persecution, because of our historic folly of Partition,” Madhav said.

“Jawaharlal Nehru in 1950 came out with expulsion of illegal migration from East Pakistan which subsequently became Bangladesh. Nehru had stated that persecuted minorities who came here will be exempted from the bill. There was a historic necessity,” Madhav said, adding, “No state needs to fear that their regional, cultural or linguistic demography is going to be adversely affected.”

On NRC, Madhav said: “There will be automatic corrections with the inclusion of people who have been left out but their wives, husbands, siblings, children or parents have made it. The list is supplied only to the SC so we don’t know the final numbers. CAB will also give an opportunity to come and register.”

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