On Monday, December 9, Union home minister Amit Shah tabled the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha.
Within minutes of introduction of the Bill, Adhir Ranjan Choudhury, leader of Congress in Lok Sabha, termed the Bill as regressive. Gaurav Gogoi, Member of Parliament from Koliabor in Assam, said that the Bill goes against the foundational values and conditions of the Assam Accord.
Debate on the Bill is underway. The Bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
What is Citizenship Amendment
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955
- Once amended it will grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis, and Christians if they faced religious persecution in Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan
- Non-Muslim applicants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan would be given Indian citizenship if they had stayed in India for five years, instead of 11 years which is the current rule.
- According to the new law, any Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian who came to India from Bangladesh-Pakistan-Afghanistan before December 31, 2014, will not be considered as an illegal citizen.
- Inner line permit areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram have been excluded from this bill. In addition, the bill also defends the sixth schedule of the North East.
- The reason behind the opposition of the bill is that as per the bill, Muslims coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh will not be given citizenship of India.
- The opposition says that this bill will discriminate on the basis of religion in the country. It is against the right to equality of the constitution.
- The bill is being the most opposed in the Northeast.
- The people of the Northeast are concerned that a large number of Hindus from Bangladesh may be granted citizenship in the last few decades.