India’s Citizenship Amendment Bill: After Year One

On 12th December 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAA) was signed by the president of India, after being passed through both the houses of parliament. It provides an opportunity for obtaining citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis, Buddhists, or Jains who are ‘illegal immigrants’ from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and who have been residing in India since before 31 December 2014. Muslims are selectively pushed outside the purview of granting citizenship under this Act. Simultaneously, there are serious attempts to implement a National Register of Citizenship (NRC), which will result in a large chunk (almost 2 million people in Assam alone) of the population being devoid of citizenship rights altogether. Of these excluded populations, the non-Muslim communities can obtain citizenship through CAA, while Muslims will be bereft of their rightful place in India.