Four Years Post Passage: CAA Great Citizenship Law Enacted

By manish198832 Mar11,2024

Four Years Post Passage

Four Years-Four years have passed since the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by the Indian Parliament, and now it has become a reality with the government’s recent issuance of a notification for its implementation. This act, which marks a significant departure by making religion a criterion for citizenship for the first time, was met with widespread protests and resistance when it was cleared in December 2019. The protests, which turned violent and claimed over 100 lives, were fueled by opposition politicians and non-BJP states who vehemently opposed the legislation.

Four Years

Four Years-With the issuance of the notification, the government now has the authority to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who came to India before 2015 from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The implementation of the Citizenship Act, a cornerstone of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign platform in the 2019 general election and various state elections, has occurred just weeks before the 2024 Lok Sabha poll, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party seeks a third consecutive term in office.

Four Years-The move to implement the CAA comes shortly after Home Minister Amit Shah reaffirmed the government’s commitment to its enforcement before the elections. Shah stated unequivocally that the CAA, being a law of the country, would indeed be notified and come into effect prior to the election, dispelling any doubts surrounding the matter.

Four Years-However, opposition to the CAA remains strong, particularly in states led by non-BJP governments. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a vocal critic of the CAA, wasted no time in expressing her opposition, emphasizing her government’s stance against any form of discrimination. Banerjee highlighted the sensitivity of the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), especially in Bengal and the northeast, and expressed her desire to avoid unrest in the lead-up to the election.

Four Years-Banerjee’s sentiments are echoed by other opposition leaders across the country. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin condemned the BJP government for its actions, accusing it of undermining communal harmony and affirming his refusal to implement the law. Several other states, including Kerala, Punjab, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, previously under Congress rule and now governed by the BJP, have also voiced their opposition to the CAA through resolutions and by halting National Population Register (NPR) and NRC-related activities.

In Telangana, the Bharat Rashtra Samithi led by former Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao passed resolutions against the CAA, NPR, and NRC, emphasizing the concerns expressed by millions of citizens across the country. Even within the BJP, dissenting voices have been heard, with leaders and lawmakers from states like Madhya Pradesh criticizing the law despite being part of the ruling party.

While the government argues that the Citizenship Amendment Act aims to provide citizenship to minorities fleeing religious persecution in Muslim-dominated countries, critics contend that it discriminates against Muslims and violates the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution. The polarizing nature of the CAA has sparked widespread debate and protests, underscoring the deep divisions within Indian society over issues of citizenship, religion, and identity.

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