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Citizenship (Amendment) Act
1. Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by both the Houses of Parliament and made an act.
2. The provisions are regarded to be against the basic structure of the Constitution and pose a threat to the social fabric of the country.
Which are the drawbacks?
1. This law is regarded as discriminatory and an arbitrary way of describing an Indian citizen.
2. While the Constitution envisions a modern and enlightened approach in describing an Indian citizen, the bill aims to establish a parochial-identitarian conception.
3. There are serious humanitarian concerns for persecuted minorities and affect constitutional democracy as well.
4. Religious criteria to grant citizenship violates the Fundamental Right under Article 14.
Why are the set criteria questionable?
1. It aims to grant citizenship to those Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Parsi, Buddhist and Jain immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have fled due to religious persecution.
2. But it excludes certain communities and neighboring countries.
3. Minority communities of neighboring Islamic republics were selected because of the threat of religious persecution,
4. But minority communities targeted in Sri Lanka, Bhutan that have Buddhism as state religion aren’t covered.
5. Similarly, Muslim minority sects like Ahmadiyyas and Hazaras in Pakistan and Rohingyas in Myanmar facing the threat of persecution aren’t covered.
6. This questions the legislation’s moral rationale and constitutional validity.
What are the other issues?
1. The legislation does not define religious persecution, nor it is based on any actual assessment of such persecution.
2. CAB along with National Register of Citizens (NRC) is expected to negatively impact the minority community of India.
3. It also has diverse implications in regions such as Assam and northeastern states.
4. Certain communities will be privileged on ethno-religious grounds while others will have to face extreme uncertainties and insecurities.
5. It will also affect the diverse cultural society of India and will disturb peace and social harmony.
It is important to protect the values enshrined in the Constitution and the diverse basis of Indian society.