CAA and NRC

What is CAA?

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 became The Citizenship (Amendment) Act on 12th December 2019 after receiving the assent of the President of India. Any refugee, belonging to either of the five listed religious communities, who fled to India on or before 31st December 2014 from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

What is NRC?

Any foreigner living in India illegally will be deported or detained in detention centres.

CAA and NRC: Protests are taking place against the revised Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Citizenship Register or NRC (NRC) across the country, including the national capital Delhi and the country’s financial capital Mumbai.

What is the difference between CAA and NRC?

The CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) has become a Civil Amendment Act (CAA – Citizenship Amendment Act) after it is passed in Parliament and the President is heard. It is important to understand the difference between CAA and NRC because there is an atmosphere of confusion about both of them that it is against Indian Muslims.

Difference between the CAA and NRC

  • Where the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is based on religion, the National Citizenship Register (NRC) has nothing to do with religion. The Civil Amendment Act (CAA) accommodates non-Muslim (six major religions) people.
  • Under the CAA, there is a provision for granting citizenship of India to the people of Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Parsi religion who came to India due to persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, Muslim majority country. Muslims were not included in this.
  • The NRC states that illegal immigrants, irrespective of caste, class or religion, will be identified and excluded from the country.

NRC is currently applicable only in Assam whereas CAA has been implemented throughout the country.

  • NRC is however applicable only in Assam whereas CAA will be applicable nationwide. The truth is that NRC is still applicable in a particular state. The NRC has been implemented in Assam to uphold racial exclusivity on the order of the Supreme Court under which illegal immigrants from the state have been exempted. It is not applicable elsewhere except Assam.
  • While the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) is nationwide and will be applicable throughout India. Although the Chief Ministers of many states have opposed this and said that this law should not be implemented in their state, but the experts of the Constitution believe that the final decision will be taken by the Central Government on its implementation.

CAA is not against Indian Muslims

  • There has been a perception about CAA that this will deprive Indian Muslims of their rights, but the truth is that even if they want to do so, it cannot be done under this law. Actually, CAA is being linked to the proposed NRC across the country, hence such an assumption has been made.
  • Such illegal migrants who have entered India by the decisive date of 31 December 2014 will be able to apply to the government for Indian citizenship.
  • Till now it was mandatory to stay in India for 11 years to take Indian citizenship. The new law provides that the minority of neighboring countries will be given citizenship if they remain in India even for five years.
  • The CAA also arranges that any legal action already taken against them for their displacement or illegal residence in the country will not affect their eligibility for permanent citizenship.
  • If the OCI card holders violate the conditions, the center will have the right to cancel their card. But they will also be heard.
  • The reason for the protest that has been raised due to the Citizenship Amendment Act is that according to the provision of this bill, Muslims coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not be given citizenship of India. Several parties, including Congress, are opposing the bill on this basis.

How is the CAA connected to the NRC?

The two have no connection. The NRC is a count of legitimate Indian citizens. Barring the state of Assam, this exercise has never been done anywhere in the country. Union home minister Amit Shah has said he will frame a nationwide NRC by 2024 to detect illegal migrants. On December 22, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his government had never said anything about an NRC except in Assam.

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