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CAA: Embracing the Oppressed

Priyanka Sharma

On Monday, March 11, 2024, the Government of India, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi finally notified the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA). The CAA had already been passed in December 2019, but the law couldn’t be implemented without the rules being notified until now. The CAA rules will grant Indian Citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who arrived in India before December 31, 2014. “These rules, called the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024 will enable the persons eligible under CAA-2019 to apply for the grant of Indian citizenship,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said. “The applications will be submitted in a completely online mode for which a web portal has been provided” the spokesperson added.

The implementation of CAA is a beacon of solace for the people who had migrated to India because of the religious persecution they faced in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It is also crucial to understand that Muslims, being the majority population in these countries cannot be considered as persecuted minorities. Nevertheless, the Centre has affirmed that applications from other communities may also be given individual consideration.

Detrimental elements within India have labelled this law as discriminatory. However, such elements are trying to sow the seeds of discord within the society purely on religious basis. The law, in reality doesn’t challenge the citizenship of already existing Indian citizens. To create unrest and a rift in the society, a false narrative regarding the CAA being a threat to the religious minorities within India is prevalent. However, the law nowhere mentions any discriminatory rule against Indian minorities. Such narratives are utterly illogical, since CAA is nothing but the embodiment of Bharat’s spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. CAA in essence aims to welcome asylum seekers who resonate with the culture and values of Bharat. These migrants are ultimately a part of our extended Indian family, sharing a common heritage with Bharatvarsha. If not their family, who else should they rely on?

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