Citizenship Amendment Bill: My take!
Over the past few days, I have been devouring every bit of news and opinions expressed on this bill. Let's start with the good parts of the bill - the political and governance constraints we face as a nation do merit that the eligibility of citizenship of India needs to be strengthened and some clear norms established on who constitutes a legal migrant.
However, I think there are two serious issues in the planned implementation - one, that it discriminates on religious grounds, and two, that it is based on a December 31st, 2014 timeline rather than starting from the present.
There has been a spate of political changes in the country over the past few months which have polarized people on religious lines and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is another such event. There was the removal of article 370 from Kashmir which created a furor, followed by the verdict in the Babri Masjid case and now the CAB. There are enough fractures on religious lines that we are facing as a country, and we do not need anymore. The rationale of there being Muslim majority nations in our neighborhood who can take some of the migrants is nebulous and without any substance or precedent. Also, I think it is unfair to apply a date from the past and try and uproot people who have built their lives in India over the past 5 years. I think that makes the implementation of this very difficult and likely to face plenty of resistance from the people who are being uprooted.
Given the reaction, the government should rethink and redo the clauses relating to the religion of the individual and the date from which it will apply. For a more united and secure India, I really hope that they do so!