Few days back Amendment to India’s 63 year old Citizenship Act was in limelight as it holding Confusion amd Turmoil over classifying the residents of Assam as Indian citizens or Illegal immigrants to migrants of 6 religion (except Islam) and 3 nations .

As 40 lakh of the 3.29 Crore were left out ; of the 40.07 lakh 37.59 lakh applications were rejected while 2.48 lakh were kept on hold . It sparked Controversy as mamy prominent names have been missing out like ARCHANA PAUL , the wife of BJP MLA from Cachar DILIP PAUL former Congress MLA ATAUR RAHMAN MAZARBHUIA and AIUDF’s Cachar unit president SAMIMUL ISLAM and family . But the most shocking name was former Indian President FAKHRUDDIN ALI AHMED’s Brother and Nephew . Though the Centre has said that the list is not Final but still if former Indian president’s citizenship is being questioned it definitely raises Eyebrows . So a person holding such post which compulsorily requires to be a Indian Citizen , his son is not a Indian citizen ….. WOW … !!!!!

Now what the LAW says , let’ have a look . Definition of an Illegal immigrant according to Indian Citizenship Act , 1955 means a Foreigner who has entered India :

1) Without a valid passport or other travel documents or

2) With the above mentioned documents but stayed for more than permitted period

Articles 5-9 of the Indian constitution deal with citizenship. While Article 10 guarantees the continuance of citizenship, Article 11 grants Parliament the right to regulate citizenship . Sardar VALLABHAI PATEL himslef said ” We should remember that Citizenship will be scrutinosed throughout the world . We must always have some foreigners coming here due to accident of or someone comes here and resides here” . Even the chairman of Indian Constitution said that Indian Constitution is a dual polity with singel citizenship . There is only one citizenship called Indian Citizenship and every Indian has same rights no matter in what state he resides . According to this act Citizenship is determined by birth , descent , registration and naturalisation . One of the key determinant is that the citizen must be risiding here for the last 12 months before filing application and 11 of the 14 years . But the Citizenship Amendment Act (2016) tries to reduce the requirement to 6 years for granting Citizenship to people without valid documents from minority communities : Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians–from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India . Currently the Bill is pending in the Joint Parliamentary Committee .

US and UK also grant citizenship on birth after 2003 amendments . In US if both parents are born there . While in UK it is granted even if one parent is British or permitted to reside there . In India The Citizenship Act, 1955 says that every person born in India :

(a) on or after the 26th day of January, 1950, but before the 1st day of July, 1987

(b) on or after the 1st day of July, 1987, but before the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 (6 of 2004) and either of whose parents is a citizen of India at the time of his birth

(c) on or after the commencement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 (6 of 2004), Where

(i) both of his parents are citizens of India; or

(ii) one of whose parents is a citizen of India and the other is not an illegal migrant at the time of his birth
shall be a citizen of India by birth .

Citizenship by REGISTRATION can be acquired by persons of Indian origin who have lived in India for 7 years before applying , persons of Indian origin who live in any country outside undivided India , persons married to a citizen of India and who have lived in India for 7 years before the application. Any minor child can be registered as a citizen if the government is satisfied that there are special circumstances .

While citizenship by NATURALIZATION ; any foreigner who is not an Illegal immigrant and has resided in India for 12 consecutive months before filing the application and 11 out of 14 proceeding years .

According to Section 9(1) of the 1955 Act a citizen ceases to be one if he voluntarily acquires citizenship of another country or renounces Indian citizenship . India DOES NOT ALLOW Dual citizenship ; according to Section 10 anyone who has become a citizen of India by Naturalization or Registration due to marriage he may be deprived of citizenship by Home Ministry for certain reasons .

According to the Supreme Court on 31 July , 2018 ; it will like 66 Updation process differs from rest of the states from replacing house-to-house visit to applications by citizenship status based on NRC , 1951 and electoral rolls till midnight of 1971 . It is governed by Rule 4A and corresponding schedule of citizenship (registration of indian citizens and issue of national ID Cards) Rules , 2003 , said a statement issued by office of state coordinator , NRC on 30 July 2018 . All these rules are framed as per cut off date of 24 march , 1971 as per Assam Accord . Those whose names haven’t appeared on complete draft have legal right to apply by filing claims between August 30 , 2018 to September 28 , 2018 . Final draft is to come in December ; it’s being said that Overzealousness in publishing NRC is the Agenda of BJP .

The NRC had listed 14 documents that can be submitted as citizenship proof :

(1) 1951 NRC

(2) Electoral Roll(s) up to March 24, 1971 (midnight)

(3) Land & Tenancy Records

(4) Citizenship Certificate

(5) Permanent Residential Certificate

(6) Refugee Registration Certificate

(7) Passport

(8) LIC

(9) Any Govt. issued License/Certificate

(10) Govt. Service/ Employment Certificate

(11) Bank/Post Office Accounts

(12) Birth Certificate

(13) Board/University Educational Certificate

(14) Court Records/Processes.

While BJP is busy praising the NRC Move saying in last 48 years no party had the GUTS to raise the issue of Immigration but Modi government has decoded to deal with it , on the other hand Congress who was the ruling party when Assam Accord was signed in 1985 is saying that the new bill is contrary to the Assam accord . Though it’s being said that Congres has supported Illegal Migration to garner Muslim votes ; but it is also to be remembered that it was Congress only which signed Assam Accord but never implemented it ; it stayed in a Limbo . Serious work on NRC began only in 2015 . Also we have seen that BJP is always Pessimist and Hindering when it comes to helping out the Immigrants ; but mentioning a startling fact is that during 10 year UPA Term 84000 Immigrants were deported ; while in this 4 year NDA Term only 5400 have been deported . So though BJP hasn’t done a big job for solving Immigration problem but the only aim is Political Win as all the Immigrants are voters of Anti-BJP Parties and just to destroy their Vote Bank such a drastic step is being taken .

But why Assam is different and having a special NRC . Actually during British rule Assam was merged with Bengal presidency for administrative purpose . From 1826 to 1947 British continuously brought cheap labour for tea plantation in Assam . Two major waves of migration came after Britsh rule ; one after partition and other after Liberation of Bangladesh . It led to an agitation in 1979-85 led by All Assam State Union . It culminated in Assam Accord signed by RAJIV GANDHI which said that all Illegal Immigrants who have come here from Bangladesh of any religion have to be deported .

Clause 6A was then inserted in the Citizenship Act with special provisions for Assam . It brought two Cut-Off dates ; January’s 1, 1966 and March 25, 1971 . Anyone who is a resident before the first date is a Citizen , anyone who is a resident in between the two dates and remained there has to register under Foreign Tribunal . For 10 years they will have all rights of a citizen except voting rights which will be granted after 10 years . Finally , all residents after the second date are not eligible for Citizenship . For citizenship one has to prove that either he or his Forefathers were residents before the first date . Assam also has NRC in 1951 with 80 lakh citizens on the basis of that year’s Census .

In 2003 Citizenship Act was amended to identify Genuine citizens . Before that during INDIRA GANDHI’s reign Illegal Immigration Act was identified but only for Assam ; everywhere else Foreigners Act was applicable . The former was considered Ineffective as compared to latter as here the Burden of Proof for being an foreigner was on the Accuser instead of being on Accused or State .

In Arunachal Pradesh a demand for citizenship for CHAKMAS has been pending for decades , while Centre is keen to give them citizenship , it’s being opposed by citizens . In Kashmir , West Pakistan refugees are allowed to vote in national elections but not in Assembly elections .
We have seen enough from OUR point of view ; now let’s look with THEIR point of view . Just imagine the condition of those people who came here after 1971 ; as they were Poor , didn’t had living and wanted to work and have a better life for their Family . Most came from BANGLADESH and that IDIOT Country has declared that they are not their Citizens . Now they are living here for more than 40 years with a Family , a Shelter and with an Identity . Even here they suffer some Discrimination and Humiliation being an Immigrant but it’s better than living in thier HELL Country so they continue reside here .

Now what we will do to those who fail to prove their Citizneship we will mark them Illegal who have
We will just throw them out , but WHERE ? Even their country will not accept them . My Nerves SHIVER just thinking about the Scenario of those poor and helpless people
Those who will not be able to prove their citizenship being there for 40 years , created a living , Family , everything right from the Scratches ; what will happen to them and then being called ILLEGAL , just imagine their Scenario , discrimination and human rights abuses they will encounter after being declared Ilegal that too when they belong to Minority communities and they might lose all their property , Voting rights and most importantly all the HAPPINESS .
What do you think CORRUPTION can’t take place here and the policy is extremely Effective ; Agents and Touts will pull off opportunity here also by selling old property of 1960s to Immigrants not having any proof in huge amounts and they will gain Citizenship .

Also a big Illogical and SHITTY thing here is that though we have delayed the implementation but have not moved the cut off date ; the 1971 Test was applicable if we had implemented it with signing the Accord in 1985 (14 year difference gap) ; but if we are implementing it in 2018 isn’t it Practical to shift the cut off date to 2004 (14 year gap being maintained) It’s us who delayed it and instaed of accepting the mistake we are putting the whole Burden on the Immigrants .

I truely accept the Fact that we are still a Developing Country and we can’t afford too many Immigrations ; but for that we need better border security and more stronger ID’s ; though it’s a Good solution but it’s Repercussios are way more empowering and overshadowing to it’s Benefits . We all know the condition of our neighbouring countries ; if someone is coming to us for better life , shouldn’t we act as the Big Brother with a Big Heart by protecting them instead of just arresting them , deporting them , shame them and make them live as Second Class citizens . Even if we can’t grant them Citizenship and Voting rights ; can’t we just give them RIGHT TO LIVE with pride , dignity and equity.

Just before concluding the Article I would like to mention Special Thanks to My Writing Inspiration CHETAN BHAGAT whose many infos from his Article I have used in my work .

In the name of Nationalism , Socialism and protection of Assamese people’s rights , we are doing an Exercise so divisive , so arbitrary and so Difficult to implement that it will create far more problems than it will solve . We need to relook at the NRC Scenario specially at the Cut-Off dates and then implementing it ASAP and not like this time . Now even after knowing the REAL scenario if we can’t open our arms for them then we don’t deserve to be called INDIANS in real sense ; as our Country’s heritage and culture teaches us to treat GUESTS as GODS …… ATITHI DEVO BHAVA … !!!!!



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