Amid the massive outburst over the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA) 2019 and the implementation of pan-India NRC, the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) issued a clarification on who are the bonafide Indian citizens as per the legislation.
According to the clarification, any person born in India before July 1st, 1987 or if their parents were born before that date are Indian citizens and that the CAA does not apply to Indian citizens neither the possible NRC would have any issues with them.
According to media reports, an official at the MHA appealed the people not to compare the Citizenship Act with the Assam NRC as the cut-off date was different, keeping in view of Assam Accord. In Assam, the cut off date for identification of an Indian citizen is 1971.
In a thread of Tweets, the MHA informed that:
- Citizenship of India can be acquired by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation or incorporation of territory. Any foreigner on becoming eligible can acquire citizenship by registration or by naturalisation irrespective of his country or community.
- CAA enables foreigners of 6 minority communities from 3 countries to apply for citizenship on the basis of religious persecution. It does NOT amend any existing legal provision which enables any foreigner to apply for Indian citizenship through registration/naturalisation.
- The CAA does not apply to Indian citizens. They are completely unaffected by it.
- In the last 6 years, 2830 Pakistani, 912 Afghani & 172 Bangladeshi citizens have been given Indian citizenship. Many of them are from the majority community of these countries.
- Such migrants of the majority community of neighbouring countries shall continue to get Indian citizenship if they fulfil the eligibility conditions already provided in the law for registration or naturalisation.
- On different occasions, special provisions have been made by Government in the past to accommodate the citizenship of foreigners who had to flee to India. E.g. 4.61 lakh Tamils of Indian origin were given Indian citizenship during 1964-2008.
- The CAA does not target any religious community from abroad. It only provides a mechanism for some migrants who may otherwise have been called “illegal” depriving them of opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet certain conditions.
- CAA protects the interests of the tribals & indigenous people of North East by excluding areas under 6th Schedule and areas covered by Inner Line Permit. Therefore, there is no question of any influx of foreigners swamping the indigenous population.
Photo Credit: The News Minute