In the last few months, this country has seen some catastrophic situation that could have been even worse with the time. The people of our nation have been doing a nationwide long protest against the new Citizenship Law in the national capital as well as different parts of this country. Before we talk about this long went protest let us actually see facts that cannot be ignored as a responsible citizen of this nation before making any assumption any further. Let us know what is actually Citizenship Amendment Act? What has it brought for all of us? What is the very sole purpose of this new Law?
About CAA, 2019
CAA, 2019 was an act passed by our legislature of India in the month of December of 2019. This Amendment act of citizenship allows Indian Citizenship for the Hindus, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi & Christian all these religious minorities which were suppressed by the majority in our neighboring countries, like Pakistan, Afghanistan & Bangladesh. The citizenship would be granted only to minorities who fled to India before December 2014 & had the fear of being suppressed by the majority over there. But there is an exclusion of one community i.e., the Muslims were excluded from this very act passed by the Indian Government. Basically, this act provided citizenship to all these minority people who were facing religious fear of being suppressed in the majority dominated country.
The Real Scenario
But coming back to the reality-based scenario which is next to worse as there are a huge number of violent protests going on around the whole nation due to this new Citizenship Law. The protest started from the northeast region like Assam, mainly, the people over there have a fear that when a large number of immigrants will come to their places their rituals and civilization might go on stake. They fear of losing their political and social interest because of the immigrants in their region. From this state, the wind of protest flew like the water gushing out from the hole in a vessel.
Lack of interpretation of this law was another major cause of this protests amongst the people that outburst amongst the people of this nation as they believed this law clearly violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India which says equality before law & equal protection of laws. Some intellects even raised intellect questions on the subsects of the Muslim communities like the Shias which have been fear of suppression in their own countries like Pakistan & Bangladesh. They even questioned minorities from countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Bhutan & Sri-Lanka. The Government of India in response to this said that Afghanistan & Pakistan are countries where the majority are Muslims & hence, they are unlikely to face any type of religious threat.
Protest and NRC
Even several petitions were filed against the Government act & challenging the constitutional validity of this new law in the Apex Court by some high-profile leaders, institutions, communities & even by some law students who sought the justification of the Art 14 of the Constitution. One of another main reason for all this protest was that many people connected this law with the National Registered Citizen (NRC) which was enacted in the state of Assam after which many illegal migrants had to leave who settled in the State of Assam after 1971 and hence many of them were required to leave if they didn’t have any sufficient documentation to prove their citizenship.
But, NRC unlike CAA was not targeting any specific religion or any sect of humans. It was purely done on the basis of documents that one was needed to show to prove their citizenship. The opposition works even better fuelling the fire of protests amongst the mindset of aggravators. They say India is a welcoming country. Then how come they are trying to make this nation into a national refugee camp for the immigrants by allowing all the minority sect from our neighboring countries and depriving our national security and violating the Constitution of India simultaneously by bifurcating people on the basis of religion which even violates the word “ Secular” that was added by the 42nd amendment to the Constitution.
Every person has a different story, different perception regarding this new law on Citizenship & I believe that this is the beauty of our nation where everyone has a different mindset and the best is implied for the rest of us. India is a country of historic values & civilization from where we get to know about a lot of things of the past hence we should always keep this in our mind that no matter how much things get tough for all of us we should not and never follow or lead up to the policy of Divide & Rule.
This country is a pot of all religions, communities, sects & subsects, various institutions working and preaching their own affairs & they are well protected through our Constitution. Hence, CAA may be good or bad or even bring out worse for some. But, we should always be directed towards the integrity of this nation. The government could have used some better phrase like “suppressed minorities of South Asia’’ rather than using “it only includes Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Christian, Parsi & Buddhists” as it violates the article 14 of the Indian Constitution & also diminishes the scope of the word “Secular” enshrined by 42nd Amendment in the Constitution of India.
Saksham Srivastava | Author, LawTree Club