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Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019: Revisiting Indian Secularity

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Sheetal Nariani
Sheetal Nariani
2020

When the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was first introduced in the Indian parliament on December 2019, protests erupted all over India over the perceived non-secular nature of the proposed bill. Despite the outrage, India passed the legislation rendering it the official status of Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019.

The main beneficiaries of this act are illegal immigrants of certain minority religious faiths from neighboring Islamic countries, who fled to India to escape religious persecution in their own countries. This act accelerates their path to Indian citizenship thereby securing a safe life in India as citizens with freedom to practice their religion without any fear.

However, it is the first time that religion has featured prominently in an Indian legislation, thereby sparking unrest among indigenous population, especially more so because it excludes Muslims. Additionally, it possibly negates the efforts of the border states in North East India, that have been battling the issue of infiltration of illegal immigrants for decades.

As the protests continue in India despite the COVID19 crisis, this thesis aims to analyze this act in the context of the Indian constitution and secularity, the history and perspective of the people in the North Eastern states and Indian Muslims, and the impact its implementation could possibly have all across the country.

 

Keywords

India, Citizenship Amendment Act, CAA, NRC, NPR, Indian Muslims, CAA protests, Assam, Detention centers, Secular, Indian Constitution, India-Pakistan Partition, 1947