There is a lot of confusion in India about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). A lot of lies and propaganda is being spread. Let us understand these two things.
What is the Citizenship Amendment act?
Citizenship Amendment Act is a change in the Citizenship Act of 1955 passed by the Indian Parliament on 12th December 2019.
This act inserted a special proviso, namely
Provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and exempted by or under Passport Entry into India Act 1920 or Foreigners Act 1946 shall not be treated as illegal migrant for the purposes of this Act.
Remember this act applies ONLY to minorities who entered India ON OR BEFORE Dec 31, 2014
And what is the National Registry of Citizens – the NRC?
NRC was added in the CItizenship Act, 1955 via the Citizenship Amendment Act 2003, where the Central government could maintain a National Register of Indian CItizen by establishing a National Registration Authority.
The National Register could be established and maintained by the Registrar General of CItizen Registration. The register was to be maintained at State, District, Sub-district, and local level
The date for initialization of the register and the procedures to create the register was to be decided and announced by the Registrar General of Citizen Registration. Neither the timeline, nor the procedures have been specified.
Some are talking about – what about the NRC for Assam?
Well NRC for Assam was added in the 2003 Amendment to the Citizenship Amendment Act as a special provision. This was because of the clause in the Assam Accord signed by Rajiv Gandhi.
Supreme Court ruling in 2013 mandated the NRC for Assam be completed by the Government of the day within 3 years.
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Please read and understand the context before you go out and express your outrage.
For your benefit, here is the pdf copy of the entire act, which is all of three pages.