The core concept of Citizenship is enshrined in Article 5-11 of the Constitution. In the Constitution, citizenship is not specifically defined but is defined only through domicile, migration, registration. But by the word “Citizenship” we can derive its meaning that from which state or country does the person belongs to or we can say that relation between state and its people. The state divides a citizen and a non-citizen on the basis of rights, a citizen can be defined as ‘a person who have all civil and political rights and a non-citizen does not have these rights. Now, this topic has been in the debate because of an amendment in the Citizenship Act.
The Government of India had passed the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 which says:
“Nothing in this section shall apply to tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under ‘The InterLine’ notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act will grant the illegal non-Muslim migrants the status of legal migrants despite them having come to India without valid documents and permission.
Now, in several states the protest is going on against the act, the critiques say that this is against the Constitution of India.
How does it violate the Constitution?
Article 14 forbids the class legislation: It does not forbid reasonable classification of persons, objects and it gives benefits of equality to any person within the territory of India even to a foreigner also, Classification should be reasonable as it has to follow the two tests:
It should not be artificial, arbitrary or evasive. The classification must be founded on an intelligible differentia which distinguishes person or thing that are grouped together from others left out.
The differentia which has to be adopted must be based upon reasonable or rational and direct nexus to the object. When there is no reason for classification it may be declared as discriminatory.
The CAA eliminating Muslim identity by saying India a welcome refuge to all other religious communities. It seeks to legally establish Muslims as second-class citizens of India by giving preferential treatment to others. The act simply says that when if a Non-Muslim comes Indian from Pakistan and Bangladesh to live India who was separate din 1947 or after, he will be welcomed with the conferment of citizenship of India, but if he is Muslim then not, thus it is a clear violation of principles enshrined in the Constitution. The act is violating different facets of the constitution like secularism, the world secular means no bias on the basis of religion, but this act kills the instinct of secularism, the principle which is given in the heart of the constitution i.e. Preamble.
How does NRC and Citizenship Amendment Act violate International Law?
Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) provides that “everyone has the right to a nationality” and that “no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.”
The law is applicable on every state, they are bound to follow it without any distinction, the Citizenship Amendment Act violates the individual full range of human rights, a person is connected to a state through citizenship, Amendment results in acute vulnerability to additional rights violations as every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
The Constitution of India is being blatantly jeopardized by the exercise of the NRC policy. The doomed policy has massively displaced Indians leaving families broken and devasted in detention centers which evidently violate basic human rights. Article 15 of the United Declaration of Human Rights declares the “right to a nationality”, and Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which confers the “right to life” are deplorably violated by the NRC policy. It is reported that the six jails across Assam are the detention centers for around 900 people. The right to live with human dignity protected under Article 21 of the Constitution of India has succumbed to the pathetic living conditions of the detention center. The centers are synonymous with endless captivity and the children incarcerated there are vulnerable to innumerable danger. This captivity in one’s own country not only eclipses their future but also dooms India’s youth as a whole. Amnesty International in 2018 reported that 31 children were declared foreigners and some of them were too young to access counseling. Under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) reported the need for care and protection of children in the centers. The situations on ground are living proof that India has miserably failed to abide by its obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1989 (UNCRC). Now peoples are against the act and it is day by day turns violent.
Now, there are several protests is going in major states of the country, this shows how this act hurts the sentiment of peoples and religion. In my opinion, the Act is violative of not only the constitutional law but also the International law, by the application of this act there will rights of the indigenous people will curtail. In north-east areas demography will change, if NRC will be in effect, there will several people from this country will lose the identity and nationality. There will people who do not have the full documents, due to we cannot say they do not belong to this country, but if NRC will apply then it will. The insertion of Non- Muslim in the article of Act, itself show the discrimination, peoples will be not getting any rights, in my opinion, the government should focus on the development of the states, societal issues like rape, murder, etc. instead of bill. The government is only wanting Hindutva (Hindu Rastra) by eliminating the Muslims from the country. We cannot get Hindutva by eliminating the Muslim Population but to increase and develop our tradition. Thus, this step taken by the government is killing the spirit and soul of Indian Constitution.