Understanding India’s Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA)

In 2019, India saw riots in the capital New Delhi over the proposal to amend the Citizenship Act, better known as the CAA. This article will explain India’s Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and counter the false narratives being peddled by those with motivated agendas against the progress and development of Bhārat (India).

Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA)
Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA)

This article falsifies, using facts, every news article, report and person claiming India will no longer allow Muslims citizenship and/or throw out Muslims from India.

All of the findings below are publicly available. This means the events in India which occurred in January and February of 2020, particularly in New Delhi, were cunningly orchestrated by spreading fake news and lies to mislead the world, in particular the Muslim community, and set up to cause riots to malign India and the Narendra Modi led BJP government.

The original Citizenship Act of 1955

Shockingly, no media reports have even mentioned the original Act that was being amended. It does beg the question of why they have ignored an integral part of the Act.

Citizenship Act 1955 –https://indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/4210/1/Citizenship_Act_1955.pdf

This is the official, publicly available Citizenship Act 1955 of India.

It says that a person can become a citizen of India by 5 means;

1. Citizenship by birth
2. Citizenship by descent
3. Citizenship by registration
4. Citizenship by naturalisation
5. Citizenship by incorporation of territory

Nowhere does it say that Muslims cannot apply for citizenship. Anyone can apply for citizenship under the Citizenship Act 1955 — except illegal immigrants in India.

Why was there a need for an Amendment?

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 is an amendment/addition to the already existing Act of 1955 mentioned above. It provides a path to citizenship for the religiously persecuted minorities, namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is for those religious minorities who faced persecution or fear of persecution in the aforementioned countries and entered India on or before 31 December 2014.

Now here is the legal issue and the need for the amendment: those that fled to India due to religious persecution are technically illegal immigrants and therefore under the original Citizenship Act of 1955, cannot be granted citizenship. So then what? Should the Government of India send them back to Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh where they will be subject to the very same persecution that they fled from in the first place? Of course not, and this is why the amendment was brought in. It does beg the question, however: where are all the human rights activists? Why is there no outcry or global campaign over the persecution of religious minorities in these countries?

What about Muslims?

Muslims, including those from the named 3 countries, can apply for Indian citizenship as normal under the rules of the Citizenship Act 1955, but will not be fast-tracked or granted citizenship for the reason of religious persecution in those countries. They are not a religious minority (non-Muslim) in the named 3 countries which are Islamic republics with a majority Muslim population, and therefore do not fall under the amendment of 2019.

To Summarise

After doing some research, it is clear that there was some very lazy and irresponsible journalism or worse, a deliberate attempt to mislead, to malign India and to cause communal tensions.

The Citizenship Act and its amendments;

  1. Provide a legal passage for the religiously persecuted minorities of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh to become citizens of India
  2. Does not state, indicate or imply that Muslims will be stripped of their citizenship and/or thrown out of the country
  3. Will, as before allow all, except illegal immigrants, including Muslims to apply for Indian citizenship