Personal interpretation of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 of India

Caution: Views and interpretations are completely personal

Crux of the Act

  • NRC (National Register of Citizens) which was originally planned for only the Assam state of India but might be applied pan India, says that anyone who has entered India on or after 1972, would not be given citizenship of India. (maybe eventually deported)
  • CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) states that only Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Buddhist and Jain from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh would be given the citizenship in India.

The above two, in combination essentially means that people belonging to Muslim religion (or rest of the above 6 religion), who have entered India on or after 1972 would not be granted citizenship of India, either by the process of Registration or Naturalisation.

Why is CAB required

  • The three neighboring countries of India Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are Muslim majority country, where the above-mentioned minority communities have been persecuted or fear persecution. It is meant for providing them with safety and deserving human rights.
  • India is the most promising destination for them out of all the options available hence India is trying to help these people who have been persecuted on the basis of religion.
    So you might ask why Muslims are left out?
    i) Allowing citizenship to foreigners increases the requirement of resources for a country, which has fixed resources to provide to its citizens. Hence the number of acceptance has to be reduced anyhow.
    ii) Among these foreigners in consideration, Muslims are the only people who have fair access other neighboring countries like Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Maldives, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, etc. since these countries are Muslim majority and follow Sharia law.
    iii) Since these are already Muslim majority countries hence they are less likely to be persecuted.

Why is CAB bad

  • Article 14 of the constitution of India provide the right to equality to everyone (citizens and foreigners alike) hence providing citizenship on the basis of religion is against this very law.
  • Since India is suffering from low employability, granting citizenship to people of any religion would further increase the unemployment rate.
  • India is arguably a poor nation yet, hence providing for further added citizens would worsen the scenario.
  • Division on the basis of religion would hurt the sentiment of the common citizens of India who belong to various religions.
  • The current political party of India namely BJP has a bad name for polarizing the people of Hindu religion for political gains. Hence this move can arguably be a part of a mischievous process to satisfy some personal greed like religion based vote bank politics, terrorizing Muslim community in India, etc.
  • It would be very difficult to prove if the cause of migration is religious persecution or not.

Personal Opinion

  • I believe, the intention of implementation of the above policies could have been better if there were no clause for exclusion on the basis of religion.
  • Currently, India is not in good shape with regard to employment, GDP, crime rate, etc which deserve higher priority at the moment.
  • Since the act is communal in nature in nature hence there is high chance of riots which can be huge mishap for everyone belonging to this country.
  • In my view, NRC is ideologically correct and might have many positive impacts on the country since it weeds out illegal immigrants and is agnostic of any religion, hence it can implemented without any further edit. However, it is to be noted that the process of verification and implementation is immensely complex and hence can result in more bad than good effects.
  • India is essentially secular in nature hence classification of any kind based on religion is against this very nature hence CAB should be discarded or modified accordingly.

Link to CAB