The Big Fight: Citizenship Test - Is It Constitutional?

PUBLISHED ON: December 6, 2019 | Duration: 50 min, 15 sec

  
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Next week, the BJP government will bring to parliament the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill which will for the first time in India seek to grant people citizenship based on their religion. The bill clearly says that non-Muslim minorities who face religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are eligible for Indian citizenship. After huge protests in the northeast, the BJP made changes this week. So that it does not apply to autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram and also to states that have the inner-line permit regime (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram). However, that may not be enough in Assam, many groups feel that the CAB will nullify the 1985 Assam Accord, which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion. These groups feel that the CAB will selectively benefit non-Muslim migrants into Assam combined with the NRC or the National Register for Citizens, which aims to throw out illegal immigrants. The Citizenship bill could seriously deepen India's religious faultlines.
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