Weekly Current Affairs

‘Citizenship amendment bill communally motivated’: Activists [Governance]

  • Civil society groups held a protest rally in New Delhi opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, terming it “communally motivated humanitarianism.”
  • By seeking to grant citizenship on the basis of religious denomination, it is blatantly in violation of the constitution.
  • The proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Muslim majority countries, namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • This would mean, for instance, that the sizeable population of Hindu migrants from Bangladesh living in Assam would become citizens while Muslims who migrated to Assam from East Bengal a century ago would continue to be harassed as ‘illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
  • The proposed amendment also seeks to reduce from 11 years to six years the aggregate period of residence required in India to be eligible for Indian citizenship.
  • Since Article 14 of the Constitution guarantees equality to all persons, citizens and foreigners, differentiating between people on the grounds of religion would be in violation of the constitution, said activists.