Last night, Lok Sabha passed the much-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was proposed by the Centre in parliament. The bill was first placed in parliament in 2016 and is meant to amend the 64-year-old Indian Citizenship law, which currently prohibits illegal migrants from becoming Indian citizens.
But what exactly does the bill state and how does it affect the masses? Let us explain.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The aim of the bill is to amend the definition of 'illegal immigrants' for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without proper documentation. And unlike the previous citizenship law, which requires an individual to reside in India for a minimum of 12 years to get citizenship, this bill will enable eligible individuals to get a fast-tracked Indian citizenship in six years.
The controversial bill created not just an uproar in parliament, but also among the citizens. In Assam, an umbrella body of students' organisations in the north-east called for an 11-hour shutdown. The protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill began at 5 am today.
Besides that, more than 1,000 Indian scientists and scholars from the country and abroad have also released a statement opposing the bill. In the statement that is being circulated online, the scientists have argued that the “use of religion as a criterion for citizenship” would be a “radical break” with the idea of independent, post-colonial India.
Here are the diverse reactions the passing of the bill has amassed:
As you can tell, the bill has created quite a storm on Twitter. What are your thoughts on it?
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