What is Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 & whom does it impact
What does the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) do?
Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Who is eligible?
The legislation applies to those who were “forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion”. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration. The cut-off date for citizenship is December 31, 2014, which means the applicant should have entered India on or before that date. Indian citizenship, under present law, is given either to those born in India or if they have resided in the country for a minimum of 11 years.
Why does India need this Bill?
The Bill was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Defence minister Rajnath Singh had made it clear at the meeting of the BJP parliamentary party last week that the legislation was the top priority of the government, equating its significance with the decision to turn Article 370 into a dead letter. "Minorities in the neighbouring theocratic countries have been subjected to continuous persecutions, which forced them to seek asylum in India. Giving citizenship to six minorities will be yet another push from the Modi government to the spirit of ‘sarva dharma sambhav’,” Singh said.
CAB same as NRC? NO!
The National Register of Citizens or NRC that we saw in Assam targeted illegal immigrants. A person had to prove that either they or their ancestors were in Assam on or before March 24, 1971. NRC, which may be extended to the rest of the country, is not based on religion, unlike CAB.