What is Citizenship Amendment Act 2019? All you need to know!

What is Citizenship Amendment Act 2019?

Recently, on 11th December 2019, an act related to citizenship norms of India was passed by the parliament of India which was known as the Citizenship Amendment Act. According to the act, Indian Citizenship will be provided to Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian minorities who have fled from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and seek Indian Citizenship to live in India.

What Does The Citizenship Amendment Act Include?

According to the act, the people of these minorities who have entered India by 31st December 2014, and have suffered religious persecution in their country of origin will be now eligible for Indian Citizenship. The act, however, excludes Muslim immigrants from these countries to get Indian Citizenship, because the countries which are mentioned in the act are Islamic countries and Muslims of these countries are very unlikely to face any religious discriminations or any kind of religious persecution.

Key Points Of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019:

Some of the other key points which are a part of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 are:

  • According to the previous Citizenship Amendment Act 1955 the immigrants were provided with OCI cards if they were of Indian Origin and were descendants of former Indian citizens or any spouse of a person was of Indian Origin. But now according to the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, it will give the facility of traveling, studying and working in India to the OCI cardholders.
  • The previous Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 said that the citizenship of OCI cardholders will be canceled when the cardholder may show dissatisfaction to the constitution of India, has registered through fraud, is either engaged or was engaged with the enemy during war, damages sovereignty of India, or is sentenced to for imprisonment from two to five years of registration as OCI. But the Citizenship Amendment bill 2019 adds one more criterion for cancellation which is a violation of any law which is in force in India.
  • The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 will also reduce the residency requirement for Indian Citizenship to 5 years which was previously 11 years according to the Citizenship Amendment Bill of 1955.

According to the Intelligence Bureau of India, the immediate beneficiaries of this bill will include 24,447 Hindus, 5,807 Sikhs, 55 Christians, 2 Buddhists, and 2 Parsis, who are refugees in India and are eligible for Indian Citizenship according to the new bill.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, which is the ruling party of India and leads the Indian Government promised this bill in previous elections manifestos, so that the persecuted religions of the countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, can migrate to India and can get Indian Citizenship so that they can live in peace without any kind of discrimination and can have their rights as a citizen of India.

The bill promises to provide Indian Citizenship to the people who are immigrants in India and have migrated to India before 31st December 2014 will be given India Citizenship if they meet 5 conditions i.e.

  • Citizenship By Birth
  • Citizenship By Descent
  • Citizenship By Incorporation Of Territory
  • Citizenship by Neutralization
  • Citizenship By Registration

The Exclusions Of The Bill And NRC:

The Citizenship Amendment Bill excludes the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram because these places fall under the limit of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873 which was applied to protect the tribal cultures of northeast India. In parallel, the National Register of Citizens was also updated In Assam which was first started in 2004 in order to eliminate the illegal migration from Bangladesh in Assam. Therefore, on 19th November 2019, it was also declared that NRC will also be implemented soon, but later on, this was denied by the Prime Minister.