What is CAA? Is BJP Aiming for Hindu Rashtra through the Act?

This is perhaps a first in the political history of independent India. The 2019 Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protest has spread to nearly every corner of the country. But the motives for the protest differ with the geography. Many complain because the CAA reportedly threatens the country’s secular values. While others are afraid its linguistic and cultural heritage will be jeopardised. Yet others claim that while the CAA itself is harmless together with the planned national National Citizens ‘ Register (NRC). It is an initiative that has gone into turmoil in Assam. So, it thus becomes a weapon by excluding the country’s Muslim population. It is obvious from the fact that Narendra Modi has openly rebutted the assertion by home minister Amit Shah. He said that a nationwide NRC will be prepared by 2024. Why does the nation have a volte-face against the NRC, which even made the Modi administration do? How is it related to the CAA? If introduced, what will be their consequences for the AAP regardless of religion or geography?

About CAA

As per the CAA, immigrants of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, which are from the Muslim-majority countries and Hindu, Catholic, Buddhist, Jain, Sikh and Parsi community people who entered India illegally-that is, without a visa-on or before December 31, 2014, and who remained in the country for five years, are qualified for Indian nationality. Why is CAA only limited to people of six religions not to Muslims? Why does it only apply to people from those three countries? The government of the Union claims that in these three Islamic countries. Muslims have faced persecution by people of those six faiths. Hence it is the obligation of India to provide housing for them. So, is that act just available to those oppressed in the three countries? No, the CAA itself gives no indication of the word ‘ persecution’ anywhere. It is contradictory to BJP’s argument that the act only protects persecuted people. And since the criterion of discrimination is not that, it discriminates against unauthorized Muslim immigrants from these three countries. The government claims this is a time-limited act to provide relief to immigrants. They have inflicted in Islamic countries as India has been divided into religious lines. From time to time India has offered immigrants of all religions from various countries with citizenship. In the 1970s and 1980s, too, Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus gained citizenship.

CAA Challenged through 65 Petitions

The government of the Union has stated openly that the Rohingyas represent a national security threat. Even a Saudi Arabia-like Islamic country has deported Rohingya migrants. The argument of the BJP is that Hindu migrants only have India to fall back on while Muslim migrants have many Islamic countries to seek refuge in. Adding to that, 65 petitions in writing were lodged in the Supreme Court challenging the CAA’s legal validity. The apex court has asked the government of the Union to respond by January 2nd week. Subhash Kashyap, a constitutional expert says there are arguments both in favour and against the act.
We have a lot of provisions, but they only apply to those who have legally entered India, that is, with a valid visa. Illegal migrants-who cross the border without papers-can not apply for citizenship and face prosecution when detected. India is one of the few countries in the world with neither a legislative system for the security of refugees nor an immigration policy.

CAA Act Allows Immigrants to Seek Asylum

It is also not a signatory of the UN Convention on Refugees of 1951, or its Protocol of 1967. India also has not signed the UN Convention on Statelessness of 1954 or the UN Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness of 1961. Therefore, it is not under any obligation to give refugees rights as set out in the conventions. This takes decisions that refugees have long-term visas practically on an ad hoc basis. It has some laws governing immigration, including the 1939 Foreigners Registration Act; the 1946 Foreigners Act; and the 1967 Passport Act. In India, refugees from neighbouring countries (barring Myanmar) can seek safety directly from the government. Also, include documents issued by Foreigner Regional Registration Officers (FRROs). Non-neighbouring countries and Myanmar fall within the mandate of the UNHCR. It reviews each person asylum application and issues an ID card to those recognized as refugees after obtaining biometric data. The entire process requires six months to a year. The government actually allows refugees, like Rohingya, to apply for a “long-term visa” with UNHCR IDs, which the government issues on a case-by-case basis. That isn’t calling them Indian people, however. The NRC is a legit list of Indian people. The exercise is not anywhere in the world, except Assam’s state. Union home minister Amit Shah said that by 2024 he would create a national NRC to identify illegal migrants. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on December 22, that his government had never spoken about an NRC other than in Assam.

Modi Government Blames Pakistan

The CAA eliminates Muslim immigrants who may have illegally entered India, not legal Muslim Indian citizens. But doubts arise since the CAA provide citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three countries, if the NRC rolls out, Muslim immigrants will be left off. This also leads to doubts on RSS-BJP to fulfil their vision of a Hindu Rashtra.
He also made clear that CAA has no effect on the northeastern language, heritage, and demography. Modi said some people have made a deliberate attempt to mislead the students and the youth for political purposes.
Criticizing Pakistan for not being willing to look after its minorities ‘ rights Modi said CAA has succeeded in telling the world that Pakistan fails to protect its minorities.

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