Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016

Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 - Background Context

Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) has embraced a report clearing the disputable Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.

I was traveling to the south of India in train, Kanyakumari the end of the railroad of India I just got down alone and realized I too had a travel assistant.
Photo by Rathish Gandhi / Unsplash

Brief of Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016?

The new bill allows/enables illegal migrants/immigrants from the minority community, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar etc. for legal Indian Citizenship.

The Amendment of Citizenship Act of 1955. The Bill specifies the registration of OCI card members may be cancelled if they breach any law within their scope.

What the Amendment has to say in brief?

Allow/enable illegal migrants belonging to minorities (Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist, and Christian) from neighbouring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar etc. let them remain in the country (India) instead of deportation and imprisonment.

Bill mentions the reconsideration of “Minimum years of residence in India” before applying for citizenship to reduce from the earlier requirement of 11 (eleven) years to 06 (six) years.

The Bill does not anticipate or provide no provision for or in any case not extended to ILLEGAL Muslim migrants from any of the neighbouring countries.
The Bill has no mention or no consideration for the Jews, Bahais etc.

Why people of Assam did not welcome the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016, in Assam?

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 did not get a warm welcome, instead, it was flayed and received a mouthful of criticism throughout the state of Assam for an obvious reason it contradicts the Assam Accord (1985).

It is very clearly specified and mentioned in the Assam Accord (1985) that all migrants (Bangladesh citizens) who entered India after midnight of March 25th 1971, were to be deported back to their homeland Bangladesh.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 stands to contradict the existing Assam Accord (1985) and does not fit well in the equation of the state of Assam.

Brief information about Citizenship Act 1955?

  • Any Indian individual (need to be an Indian citizen), who voluntarily acquires/opts/gains/obtains citizenship of any other nation/country for any disclosed or undisclosed reason is automatic voids the Indian citizenship (loses Indian citizenship or no longer has Indian citizenship).
  • Citizenship By Descent: Individuals being born outside of the Republic of India on or after January 26, 1950, and before December 10, 1992, are automatically conferred as citizens of the Republic of India by descent if their father had Indian citizenship at the time of their birth.
  • However, from December 03, 2004, onwards, individuals born outside of the Republic of India shall not automatically be conferred as Indian citizens, instead they have to register within one year of the date of birth at the Indian consulate to be considered or conferred as Indian.
  • As specified in Citizenship Act 1955, if an adult individual makes a declaration or expresses abdication or tacit abandonment or renunciation of Indian citizenship, then the concerned individual loses Indian citizenship.

Who is termed an Illegal Immigrant from the context of Indian Borders?

  • Taking into account, the Citizenship Act (1955), to frame the term ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, it can be defined as the person/individual entering India without a legally issued passport from his/her home country or overstaying in the Republic of India even after the expiration of VISA issued/permit. The individual who produces false documents (forged documents) for the VISA office, for the immigration process is also termed an “ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT”.

Guidelines to become an Indian Citizen or Acquire Indian Citizenship.

Getting citizenship or acquiring citizenship of the Republic of India requires a series of compliances or legal structures and legal formalities. The Citizenship Act, 1955 put forward 5 (five) different ways to acquire/gain citizenship of the Republic of India.

  • Citizenship Birth. (The easiest way to get Indian citizenship)
  • Citizenship by Descent.
  • Citizenship by Formal Registration.
  • Citizenship by Naturalization.
  • Citizenship by Incorporation of the territory. (Very Rare or non-existent)