The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of India: A Closer Look

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The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), passed in India in December 2019, has been a topic of much debate. Here's a breakdown of the law and its key points:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of India: A Closer Look

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), passed in India in December 2019, has been a topic of much debate. Here's a breakdown of the law and its key points:

What it Does:

  • The CAA creates a faster pathway to Indian citizenship for persecuted religious minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
  • Eligible minorities include Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
  • These individuals can now apply for citizenship after residing in India for five years, compared to the standard eleven years required for others.

Why it's Controversial:

  • The Act has been criticized for excluding Muslims from the list of eligible minorities. Critics argue it discriminates based on religion and violates India's secular constitution.
  • Concerns have also been raised about the potential disenfranchisement of Muslims living in India, particularly with the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Current Situation:

  • The CAA was officially operationalized in March 2024, sparking renewed debate and protests.
  • The government maintains the law protects persecuted minorities, while critics urge its reconsideration based on its discriminatory nature.
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