TODAY -

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019: Proposal & reactions

Dr Rimmei Longmei *

 Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 : Protest at Khwairamband Keithel and Keisampat, Imphal  :: 18th November 2019
Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 : Protest at Khwairamband Keithel on 18th November 2019 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Bringing unity in diversity by harmonizing the opposing forces of centripetal and centrifugal trends in the country for the achievement of common national goals is the purpose of federalism in India. As in all federations, there is a formal division of legislative, administrative and financial powers between the Centre and the constituent units. As provided in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution, the legislative powers have been divided into Union List, State List and Concurrent List.

The Residuary powers have been vested with the Union Government. The Union List contains 97 subjects, State List has 66 subjects and there are 47 subjects in the Concurrent List.

The Union List has given the Centre exclusive authority to act in matters of national importance – national security, defence, war, treaty, banking, citizenship, currency, communication, etc. the State List consists of subjects of local importance and the legislatures of the States have power to legislate upon the matters included in this list – law and order, justice, jail, police, agriculture, irrigation, public health, local self-government, etc.

The Concurrent List consists of subjects which of local and national importance. Both the Union and the State governments may enact laws on these matters but the Union law prevails upon the laws of the States in case of repugnancy between the two.

Citizenship is a Union subject and in Part II of the Constitution from Articles 5-11, the question of Citizenship is dealt with. According to Article 5, at the commencement of the Indian Constitution, every person who has his/her domicile in the territory of India and who was born in the territory of India; or either of whose parents was born in the territory of India; or who has been ordinarily resident in the territory of India for not less than 5 years immediately preceding such commencement, shall be a citizen of India.

Articles 6 and 7 deal with the rights of Citizenship of Persons migrating from Pakistan to India and from India to Pakistan.

According to Article 8, any person of India origin ordinarily residing in any country outside India shall be the citizen of India if such a person or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in undivided India and if he or she has been registered as a citizen of India by the diplomatic or consular representative of India in that country.

Article 9 says that if a person voluntarily acquires the citizenship of a foreign state, that person shall not be the citizen of India. Articles 10 and 11 say about the power of Parliament to enact laws on citizenship and regulate by law all other matters relating to citizenship.

For regulating the matters relating to citizenship in future, the Parliament has enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, 1955 which was amended in 1986, 1992, 2003, 2005, 2015, and 2016.All these amendments to the bill were not opposed. But the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 is seen as a problem. Why is there such a hue and cry protests against it?

When the Home Minister, Amit Shah introduced the Bill and tabled it in LokSabha2019 Parliament Winter Session was rocked by opposition parties coming togetherto oppose CAB 2019. The opposition vows to oppose it at all costs. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

As per the bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country. They will also be eligible for naturalization within 6 years.

The opposition says the Bill violates Article 14 of the Constitution – Right to Equality (entire ethos of our democracy) and claims that citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion. How can the proposed legislation be applied to those who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion, questioned the opposition.

Many leaders have put out their viewpoints opposing the Bill and also criticizing the intentions of the present government. For many, political agenda is behind it, and it is going against the entire Constitution of India. It is discriminatory and anti-national. Protests broke out despite government’s claim that the Bill is not against Muslims but infiltrators.

In the Northeast, protests erupted when the North East Students’ Organization (NESO), an umbrella organization of eight student bodies of the region launched protest marches across the region against the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU), Khasi Students’ Union (KSU), MizoZirlai Pawl (MZP), Garo Students’ Union (GSU), Naga Students’ Federation (NSF), Twipra Students’ Federation (TSF), All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) held protests rallies against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in their respective domains. They declare that North East is not the dumping ground of illegal Bangladeshis.

It may be recalled that in this part of the country, the movement against illegal immigrants is an ongoing movement. To better check the problem of influx of illegal immigrants, the people of Northeast have been continuously pressing for introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP).

In Assam in particularly, deeply divided over National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise that seeks to weed out illegal immigrants, the Citizenship Amendment Bill is facing stiff resistance as people feel it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants irrespective of religion. The cut-off date for Citizenship under Citizenship Amendment Bill is December 31, 2014.

I believe our country can do something better than this. While the pure intention to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan belonging to the Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion is a great gesture from a secular country, but since our country is facing the problem of over-population, we cannot afford to add to this existing problem.

Instead of granting Indian citizenship to those persecuted on the ground of religion, India could play a crucial role in preventing such a crime under the banner of the United Nations as a strong nation. India needs to become a developed country to successfully face challenges of nation building within and without its territory.

When India becomes a powerful nation it can use its power as leverage to influence the actions of other nations from committing religious persecution against those members ofHindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities.

And in the context of Union-State Relations, the way Union Government is trying to enact a law on citizenship opposed by the States is a matter of grave concern. It becomes another tension area in Union-State Relations.

Although Citizenship is a Union subject, voices of the States must be taken into account for the smooth functioning of Indian federalism.


* Dr Rimmei Longmei wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Head of Department of Political Science, Tetso College, Dimapur
This article was webcasted on December 13, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Gaan-Ngai at Kakhulong #1 : Gallery
  • Children Adventure Sports Camp #2 : Gallery
  • Adventure Tourism in Manipur
  • Special Police Unit for NE in Delhi
  • Niagara Falls with Devaz
  • Project Coordinator @ MaolKeki Foundation
  • Reducing air pollution : Impact & prevention
  • Right time for Assam Rifles to Go Back
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • Interesting pact between KNO & NNPGs
  • Nation & Unintegrated part now bridged
  • Conservation initiatives of Hornbills #1
  • Day 3 : Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • Reminiscence of legendary aerobiologist
  • A get-together to banish the boredom
  • Hear us oh God :: Poem
  • Resolutions on Naga Political Issue & CAA
  • Stop land allotment of Yaithibi Loukol
  • Wildfire at lower ridge of Shirui Kashong
  • Statehood Women's Polo : Gallery
  • Adversity of Diversity: Chow-Momo Indian
  • Harvard team with CM : Gallery
  • Workshop: Typesetting with Latex @ MU
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • The great cosmic discovery - VII
  • NPF opposed Citizenship Amendment Act
  • Of the highway brave hearts
  • 28th Imphal Book Fair #1 : Gallery
  • Winter Relief Program @Patsoi: Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #7
  • 2019: Ministry of Development (DoNER)
  • Consultative meeting on Meetei ST demand
  • Beauty benefits of meditation
  • Environment conservation & mankind..
  • Of our Responsibility and our Rights
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @Chingkham Kabui Khul: Gallery
  • Condolence on demise of Mahima Khan
  • Coping with anxiety before laboratory test
  • The lonely Moon :: Poem
  • Natl Conference on chemicals sciences
  • Constitutional protections to specific groups #1
  • KASHISH, Indian LGBTQ short films
  • Drugs & manufacturing: Who are the kingpins?
  • Indigenous People must defend environment
  • Cultural @ Shirui Lily Fest #4 : Gallery
  • Children Adventure Sports Camp #1 : Gallery
  • Day 3 : Sangai Fest #3 : Gallery
  • The Killing Fields 2013-20 : News Timeline
  • Khangminashi VI, talk series : Food research
  • Can people of NE blame Centre alone for CAA
  • The City of Darkness :: Poem
  • Time for Nagas to build the future: Rio
  • Checking the statements of UG outfits
  • Restoring to the status of People's CM
  • Ibudhou Thangjing, Moirang :: 360 ø View
  • Phamsak collaboration in indigenous ambience
  • Why this relaxation of 12 yrs unless..
  • Being a chow-momo Indian; the fun side!
  • Monika Ingudam - Amb for India Volunteers
  • Petition to CM to dispose contract teachers
  • Call to curb favouritism and nepotism
  • For a better world - to our world leaders
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Ramji Kabui Khul : Gallery
  • Charoibi, Atom Naha : eMing
  • Niti Aayog must stop plan to privatise health
  • For the future :: Poem
  • Career in Fashion Communication
  • Jobs at LMP Technology, Canchipur
  • Too many festivals in a year observation
  • What ails Chief Minister gi Haksel gi Tengbang
  • Thong Nambonbi broke apart: Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #6
  • Fit India Khelo India
  • The Car Washed Shampoo :: Poem
  • Economic development : Special focus on hills
  • Climate change : Biggest challenge in 2020s
  • MAYA trainer at MAAC Imphal center
  • How about the Salt Lake Manipur Bhavan?
  • Fashion Show @ Sangai Fest #1: Gallery
  • Youth and Nation
  • Lyrics of Departing Year :: Poem
  • Forgotten elixir for youths of Manipur
  • Banknotes for sale
  • ADBU - 'Engaged University of the Year'
  • Traffic chaos - a serious problem
  • 'Nongju Ahing' :: eRang Classic Photos
  • Day 1 : Sangai Fest #5 : Gallery
  • City lights :: Poem
  • How China impacts security dynamics in NE
  • Rhythms & Aromas of NE at Ukhrul
  • Lipstick mistakes to avoid
  • Giving a fresh push to the Lim debate?
  • Thong Nambonbi is a part of our history
  • Shumang Leela Ningtham Kumhei: Gallery
  • Death Anniv- Maharaj Gambhir Singh : Gallery
  • Go develop the Hills : A live case study
  • A canal to augment Imphal City, a must !
  • The present health of Loktak Lake
  • Meiraba- 3rd in Badminton World Federation
  • After effects of CAA in North East
  • Film Policy - awaiting action
  • Arambai Langba @Kangjeibung : Gallery
  • JNIMS - Untold story #2
  • CAA is a threat to indigenous communities
  • Ukhrul auditions for Rhythms & Aromas of NE
  • A Wintry Number :: Poem
  • Career in fashion industry
  • Suspension Order issued by NPF to Kenye
  • Web Developer / Trainee at Lamjing IT
  • Cabinet approves NE Gas Pipeline Grid
  • Claiming hands in attack at JNU
  • The changing concept of patriotism
  • IM on integration, Pan Naga Hoho & others
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai :: e-Pao Flash Presentation
  • Gaan-Ngai :: Read all about it
  • Asylum for select migrants.. madness ?
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #5
  • Irom Roshan to exhibit humanoid robot IVALA
  • NPF Statement on CAA 2019
  • Time to focus on examinations
  • The taste of Indian democracy
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3: Gallery
  • Press Club Foundation Day: Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Post-mortem of New Year Celebration
  • Shillong audition for Rhythm & Aromas of NE
  • Army Arrived at Lunch
  • Cocktail of CAB, CAA, NRC & NPR
  • A treatise on mind #3
  • Menamparampil for Journalism Award
  • Govt committed to protect indigenous people
  • Cabinet increase pension for retired journalist
  • Hiyangthau :: Funga Wari
  • Official Release of AMAND Calendar 2020
  • Happening and good cheer as career
  • Voices of the Stars :: Poem
  • Yaikhomba: Selected National Bravery Award
  • War against the English language
  • BJP : In Delhi & Manipur: Twain does not meet
  • Licypriya- Top 100 Child Prodigy: Gallery
  • A Critique of the Manipur ILP Guidelines
  • Licypriya- 100 Child Prodigies : Report
  • Critique of ILP Guidelines (Meiteilon)
  • Architectural Designer at R-Square
  • AutoCad Drafsman at R-Square
  • Crops production & Award for Manipur !
  • New Year picnic @Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Kairembikhok Women opted carpentry
  • RIST Talk -42 @MU : Mimicking nature
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Project Engineer at R-Square
  • Site Manager at R-Square
  • Research Officer at Amethyst
  • Jobs @ Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Assam looking at bygone years
  • Krishi Karman Award for Manipur !
  • Khusbu Sorokhaibam : Glass Painting
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #4
  • CC Meet 2019 : Fixture (Semis & Final)
  • JNIMS - Untold story #1
  • About Failed 'Real Madrid' & Climate Change!
  • Manipur : Krishi Karman Award for foodgrain
  • Year end review: Department of Atomic Energy
  • Disturbed area status & improved law & order
  • The choice is yours Mr. Chief Minister
  • Dec 30 : Sangai Fest #1 : Gallery
  • Marriage rituals of Tais #2
  • Recovering compensation from CAA agitators
  • In The Name of Democracy
  • A treatise on mind #2
  • Nightingales in Winter :: Poem
  • Social Service at Ibudhou Thangjing campus
  • Manipur start issue of ILP permits
  • 386 arrested in 282 drug related cases : 2019
  • NIA files chargesheet in AR ambush case
  • 'Marketing' on New Year 2020 eve: Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #6: Gallery
  • Meetei Today launches new website
  • Manipur : As I grew up in #3
  • Bye - Bye 2019 :: Poem
  • Stands in solidarity with the Workers
  • Peace or Pandora's Box in 2020 ?
  • X-Mas @Ukhrul, @Kpi #2 : Gallery
  • January Calendar for Year 2020 : Tools
  • Normal age forgetfulness vs Dementia
  • Who was afraid of NK Sanajaoba ?
  • Bidding farewell with a new hope
  • Hogenakkal - India's Niagara
  • Degrading environment vs activities
  • State of economy in the dark times
  • Landscape of Purul, Senapati #1 : Gallery
  • Understanding the lives of Trans community
  • New species: Trichodesma Kumareum
  • The Spear is born for the Zulu
  • Water Pollution: Causes & Effects
  • Year End Review 2019, Dept of Youth Affairs
  • Bridging disconnect & delving deeper
  • X-Mas @Ukhrul, @Kpi #1 : Gallery
  • Who are Indigenous People of Manipur #3
  • Demand to repeal AFSPA 1958
  • Scholarship test- Civil Service Aspirant
  • Auditions : Rhythms & Aromas of NE
  • Reality of the dark times ?
  • Day 3 : Sangai Fest #2 : Gallery
  • Marriage rituals of Tais #1
  • Arrogance of Centre prove costly for NE
  • U-19 Girls : Jeet Kune Do Champion
  • A treatise on mind #1
  • Heart Camp at Utlou Mayai Leikai
  • Construction activity over agricultural land
  • State of our state
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #2: Gallery
  • Destination NE @ Vanarasi #5: Gallery
  • Manipur : As I grew up in #2
  • From Anti-CAB shut down to pro-CAA rally
  • Ministers & matrimonial alliances
  • Hidden Depths :: Poem
  • Ready to bid adieu to 2019
  • Songs of the dark times
  • Mister Manipur 2019 #3 : Gallery
  • Day 1 : Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • NE: Improving journo-murder index
  • Tinkle Twinkles My Way
  • Emergence of vector borne - scrub typhus
  • Heart Camp at Haoreibi Leikai, Lilong
  • Aayush Sharma Begins Filming Kwatha
  • India needs national refugee policy: Pradyot
  • Piulong Valley, Tamenglong #1: Gallery
  • Christmas greetings
  • On the other side :: Poem
  • Chadong & its Church : Gallery
  • Diamond Jubilee @ Namdunglong: Gallery
  • Aerial- Imp to Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Tombi State Polo Tournament : Gallery
  • Nupi Lan Ningsing Lamjel #2: Gallery
  • Tales of Meitei Proverbs : Book Review
  • Miss Kut at Imphal #6: Gallery
  • Nupi Lan Day (State): Gallery
  • Brahmacharimayum Mahendra : Silpbhusan
  • Leirum- used in Luhongba : Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • SPONSORED ADS