The Indian parliament has passed the citizenship amendment bill,2019 recently. Various voices from multiple quarters have expressed their dissent regarding this bill. However, most importantly, the northeast especially in Assam and Tripura the protests have been really strong, even inciting violence resulting in a curfew.
So, here let us get some insights into why these groups are against this particular bill.
1. Assam :
(A) . The reason for the outbreak of protests are multiple :
This bill goes against the Assam accord,1985, where the deportation of illegal migrants who entered before midnight March 24, 1971, is promised. Assam Accord was the reason for the end of the violent protests for their deportation between 1979 and 1985. Thus this bill, instead of deporting them, will give them more legitimate rights.
(B) . DIVISION OF VARIOUS GROUPS AND ENMITY :
This bill can give rise to tensions between already groups like Assamese speaking Brahmaputra valley and Bengali speaking Barak valley people( where most of the illegal Hindu migrants live ) and between Bengali and tribals of Assam.
This can polarise society as now, these people may be granted voting rights.
2. Tripura :
Tripura has been predominantly a tribal majority society. But after the huge influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh mostly Chakmas regarding kaptai dam issue and many Hindus who fled the persecution in 1971 operation SEARCHLIGHT by the Pakistan military, there has been a tremendous demographic change in Tripura, as tribals were reduced to just 32% and now have become a minority in their own state and few of tribal languages have become extinct in this period.
And giving them the citizenship status, and voting rights. They may get subjugated by the majority population and may destroy their Homeland by bringing out different policies.
Hence, here we have to note that, unlike some states like Rajasthan, Haryana, who welcomed the immigrants from Pakistan who don’t have a distinct tribal population with various dialects, majority of the population in the northeast states from time immemorial, even after independence have been predominantly occupied by tribals with various distinct cultures, languages and identity and the existence of fear or anxiety is inevitable.
Why other civil groups like NGOs and opposition parties opposing this bill?
Their main and common opposition is the bill makes a distinction based on the religion and violates article 14 of the Indian constitution and its secular nature.
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.
And India being a secular country should welcome all the persecuted people, other than these 6 communities. And termed it as communally motivated humanitarianism.
The counter-argument for this :
It is not in violation of any constitution as Article 11 of the Indian Constitution reveals that Parliament is empowered to make any law relating to the acquisition or termination of citizenship and all other matters relating to citizenship, depending on the circumstances.
India doesn’t have a separate refugee law and grants refugee status based on the standard operating procedure established in 2014, where security agencies provide the details of the people.
1. Who has faced persecution?
2. Are they a threat to our national security?
So, based on these criteria these 6 communities have been selected for Indian citizenship as they are facing a persistent threat and a minority in the neighboring ISLAMIC REPUBLICS.
And any threat to Indian security and sovereignty is non-negotiable.