Sustain Humanity


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Bill Tabled in Loksabha so that Hindu Bengalies might get citizenship! However, the fine print of the Bill does not allow citizenship by birth and even after the law is passed,citizenship has to be acquired and the bill relaxes the earlier provisions only.At this point,it is very hard to say whether it would resolve rather very complicated refugee problem which has to continue as refugee influx seems never to stop. Palash Biswas

Bill Tabled in Loksabha so that  Hindu Bengalies might get citizenship!
However, the fine print of the Bill does not allow citizenship by birth and even after the law is passed,citizenship has to be acquired and the bill relaxes the earlier provisions only.At this point,it is very hard to say whether it would resolve rather very complicated refugee problem which has to continue as refugee influx seems never to stop.
Palash Biswas

Hindu Bengalies coming from bangladesh would get citizenship if  Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed by Indian Parliament.Mind you, RSS and BJP leaders have been promising citizenship for Bengali Hindus since last Loksabha Elections.On Tuesday last,despite facing stiff opposition in its bid to grant citizenship to Hindu Bengalis, the NDA Government on Tuesday tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 making nationals of various countries including Bangladesh eligible for acquiring Indian citizenship.

Refugee organizations countrywide have the achievement to convince government of India to amend the Citizenship (Amendment) Act,2003 which declared Hindu Bengali Partition victim refugees as illegal migrants and made them subject to nationwide deportation drive.It has to be stopped.

Since 2003 Bangali partition victim Hindus who continued to cross the border have been demanding citizenship and they have launched a continuous movement.The movement continues until the law enacted and executed.Matua Mahasangh began the movement and Nikhi Bharat Udvastu Samanyay Samiti has been on forefront with All India network to continue the movement as Matua movement disintegrated.Other refugee organiztions were also active and It is the result of collective attempt by the refugees scattered all over India.

However, the fine print of the Bill does not allow citizenship by birth and even after the law is passed,citizenship has to be acquired and the bill relaxes the earlier provisions only.At this point,it is very hard to say whether it would resolve rather very complicated refugee problem whic has to continue as refugee influx seems never to stop.

The Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh proposes to make minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for applying for Indian citizenship.

The Bill said that under the existing provisions of the Citizenship Act, persons belonging to the minority community, who have either entered India without travel documents or the validity of whose documents has expired are regarded as illegal migrants and hence they are ineligible to apply for Indian citizenship. "It is proposed to make them eligible to apply for Indian citizenship," the statement of object and reasons said.

The issue had triggered controversy in Assam as granting citizenship to Hindu Bengalis was one of the poll promises made by the BJP. The State BJP Government had recently sought clarifications on the Bill from the Centre pointing out that the move has led to resentment among the Assamese.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, however, quickly denied the report carried by this newspaper stating that Hindu Bengalis were promised citizenship and they shall get it.
Meanwhile, the Amendment Bill explained that many persons of Indian origin, including persons belonging to the minority community from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, have been applying for citizenship under Section 5 of the Act, but are unable to produce proof of their origin. Hence, they are forced to apply for citizenship by naturalisation under Section 6 of the Act, which among others things prescribes 12-year residency as a qualification for naturalisation in terms of the Third Schedule to the Act.

This denies them many opportunities and advantages that may accrue only to citizens of India, even though they are likely to stay in India permanently.

It is proposed to amend the Third Schedule to the Act to make applicants belonging to minority communities from the three countries eligible for citizenship by naturalisation in seven years instead of the existing 12 years.

Currently, there is no specific provision in Section 7D of the Act to cancel the registration of Overseas Citizens of India Cardholders, who violate any Indian law. It is also proposed to amend the Section 7D, as to empower the Central Government to cancel registration as Overseas Citizens of India in case of violation of the provisions of the Act or any other law for the time being in force.

Meanwhile, in the Lok Sabha, moving a Zero Hour notice, BJP MP RP Sharma urged the Ministry of Home Affairs to completely seal the Indo-Bangladesh border as done in case of the Indo-Pakistan border.

Sharma said that being an open and porous border between the two countries for the last 62 years, the Indo-Bangladesh border has become infiltration-prone. It is estimated that about one crore Bangladeshis have crossed over to India and spread all over the country, many of them settling in Assam and neighbouring states.

The Congress Government has in the last 68 years kept the border open with an eye on the Bangladeshi vote bank, while illegal Bangladeshis were legalised, Sharma alleged. The unfenced border has also led to increase in cattle smuggling and annually about 23 lakh cattle are smuggled annually, he said.