Citizenship (amendment) Bill: What it is
The Modi government has cleared Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 and it would be tabled in the Parliament next week. A bill when passed by the Parliament becomes an Act. This means only after it’s confirmed by both Houses, it would come into force.
Now let’s talk about Citizenship Bill and why it’s creating so much news.
The government introduced Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 which will provide Indian citizenship to the six minority communities from Muslim-majority countries of Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
These six minority communities are – Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian and Sikhs.
At present, it is mandatory for a person to stay here for at least 11 years to get citizenship of India.
The bill will reduce this period to six years. It will enable people from these communities to get Indian citizenship in six years.
It will make some amendments to the Citizenship Act 1955 to provide legal aid for citizenship.
In Indian law, if you enter India without proper visa and passport, you can be jailed or sent back to your country. But this Bill would be relaxed for these six communities.
People from Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian and Sikh communities who come from either Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan would not be put in jail. If they stay here for more than six year, they would be given Indian citizenship.
Now, the Opposition says this is against the Indian Constitution as the Bill does not include Muslims. This means that if any Muslim from Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan wants to come and stay in India as an migrant, they wouldn’t be given benefits under Citizenship Act.
Looking at the opposition of the Bill, it would be a hard task for the government to change the Bill into and Act.