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4 Years After Bill Passed, Citizenship Law CAA Becomes Reality

4 Years After Bill Passed, Citizenship Law CAA Becomes Reality

Four years have elapsed since the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was passed by the Indian Parliament. This landmark legislation has been a subject of intense debate, protests, and political maneuvering. Today, we delve into the journey of the CAA, its implications, and the recent developments surrounding its implementation.

The Controversial CAA

The CAA, enacted in December 2019, marked a significant shift in India’s approach to citizenship. Here are the key points:

  1. Religion as a Criterion: For the first time, religion became a test of citizenship. The CAA aimed to provide expedited Indian citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from neighboring countries—Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. These migrants include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
  2. Violent Protests and Resistance: The passage of the CAA triggered widespread protests across the country. Over 100 people lost their lives during these demonstrations. Opposition politicians and non-BJP states fiercely resisted the legislation, questioning its constitutionality and fairness.

The Long Road to Implementation

Despite having the administrative framework in place, the CAA remained unimplemented for four years. The BJP-led Union government hesitated to give the political nod required for its enforcement. However, on March 11, 2024, the Modi government finally announced the implementation of the CAA.

What Lies Ahead?

As the CAA becomes a reality, it raises critical questions:

  1. Citizenship and Religion: Can religion truly be a fair criterion for granting citizenship? Critics argue that it undermines the secular fabric of India.
  2. Political Landscape: The timing of the implementation is noteworthy. It coincides with the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, where the BJP seeks a third consecutive term. Will the CAA impact electoral dynamics?
  3. Humanitarian Concerns: While the CAA aims to protect persecuted minorities, concerns remain about the exclusion of Muslim migrants. Balancing humanitarian considerations with national security is a delicate task.

The CAA’s journey from bill to reality has been tumultuous. As India grapples with its implications, citizens, politicians, and activists continue to engage in passionate debates. The CAA is more than just a legal provision—it reflects the soul of a diverse nation striving to find equilibrium between identity, compassion, and governance.

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