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May 30, 2024

Government Begins Granting Citizenship Under CAA in West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand

The Union government initiated the process of granting citizenship under the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the states of West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand on Wednesday. According to a statement from the Home Ministry, the State Empowered Committees in these states awarded citizenship to eligible applicants.

This significant development follows the notification of the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024. The first batch of citizenship certificates under these new rules was presented to applicants in New Delhi by the Union Home Secretary on May 15. This marked a pivotal moment as the Empowered Committee in Delhi officially handed over the citizenship documents.

The CAA, enacted in December 2019, aims to provide Indian nationality to persecuted religious minorities, specifically Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians, from neighboring countries Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. This provision applies to migrants who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.

Upon its enactment, the CAA quickly received presidential assent. However, the rules required for the formal implementation of citizenship grants faced a considerable delay, spanning over four years, and were finally issued on March 11, 2024. This delay had been a point of contention and discussion among policymakers and affected communities.

The implementation of the CAA rules signifies a crucial step in addressing the plight of religious minorities facing persecution in neighboring countries. By offering a legal pathway to Indian citizenship, the government aims to provide a sense of security and belonging to these migrants, ensuring they can fully integrate into Indian society.

In West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand, the State Empowered Committees have been actively processing applications, verifying the eligibility of individuals under the criteria set by the CAA. These committees play a vital role in ensuring that the citizenship grants are conducted transparently and efficiently, adhering to the guidelines stipulated in the amended rules.

The government’s move to commence the citizenship grants has been met with varied reactions. Supporters of the CAA view it as a humanitarian effort to assist those fleeing religious persecution. They argue that offering citizenship to these individuals is a moral obligation and a testament to India’s commitment to protecting vulnerable populations.

Conversely, critics of the CAA have raised concerns about the potential implications of the act. Some argue that it may discriminate based on religion, thereby challenging the secular principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution. Additionally, there are apprehensions regarding the administrative challenges in implementing the act and ensuring that genuine applicants receive timely and fair consideration.

Despite these debates, the granting of citizenship under the CAA represents a milestone in the government’s efforts to address the long-standing issue of statelessness among persecuted minorities in the region. The process is expected to continue in the coming months, with more states likely to follow suit as the implementation mechanism becomes more streamlined.

As the government moves forward with the CAA’s implementation, it remains crucial to monitor the process to ensure it upholds the principles of justice and inclusivity. The experiences of the initial recipients in West Bengal, Haryana, and Uttarakhand will provide valuable insights into the act’s effectiveness and its impact on the lives of those seeking refuge and new beginnings in India.

Read more latest news related news on R9 News

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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