Myths vs Facts: Myths and lies being spread against Citizenship Amendment Bill, so let’s know facts:

The Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, has been passed by both houses and has become law after getting President’s assent. but Opposition parties are spreading propaganda against the bill. 

Most propaganda against the CAB is based on lies. They are spreading propaganda in order to provoke the Muslim community against the proposed bill. On the one hand, opposition parties are opposing the bill, on the other hand, senior Congress party leader and former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia has supported the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Here are some of the baseless statements made by opposition parties about the CAB bill.

Citizenship Amendment Bill is against Indian Muslims, they need to get their papers ready to continue living in the country.

Opposition parties are trying to provoke the Muslim community against the bill by saying that Indian Muslims will suffer after the bill is passed. However, the Citizenship Amendment Bill has nothing to do with Indian citizens, Muslim or otherwise, as it aims to give Indian citizenship to religious minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Anyone belonging to Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Sikhs, Parsi or Christian communities from these three countries who have come to India before 2014 for religious persecution and already living in India will be given citizenship after the amendment is passed. At the same time, Indian citizens do not need to worry about this bill as they will not be asked to produce any document to prove citizenship after the CAB is passed, it is just false propaganda being spread by some politicians or people. 

Muslims from other countries can’t become Indian citizens after CAB is passed:

Few things have changed after the CAB bill is passed. Under the bill, people who have already come to India after facing persecution in the three specified countries will be able to get Indian citizenship. Now, the process to grant citizenship has been enhanced. At the same time, the amendment does not cancel the existing naturalization laws. Any person from any foreign country wants to be an Indian citizen can apply for the same under the existing laws. There is no restriction on Muslims from anywhere in the world to seek Indian citizenship under existing laws, CAB does not prohibit that. They can apply for Indian citizenship under section 6 of the Citizenship Act, which deals with citizenship by naturalization.

Muslims for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan can’t apply for citizenship or refuge in India:

As we know that Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are all Muslim countries. So, the Muslim population is not under minorities in these countries. That is the reason Muslims from these countries have been excluded from the CAB, but it does not mean they can never get Indian citizenship. According to existing law, any Muslim can become an Indian citizen after residing in India for 11 years.

Illegal Muslim immigrants living in India will be deported after CAB is passed:

Under this bill, only six communities from three countries living in India will be provided Indian Citizenship, but it does not deal with the deportation of illegal immigrants. The process of deporting illegal immigrants living in India is an ongoing process, and the CAB does not change that.

Any Hindu can become Indian citizen after CAB is passed:

To become an Indian citizen, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Parsis or Christians have to complete at least six years in India, only then they can apply for citizenship. Now that many minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan are already living in India for at least six years, in this case, they can apply for citizenship. It does not give automatic citizenship to Hindus, they must have lived in India for at least six years, and after that, they have to apply for citizenship. 

CAB is against the Indian Constitution as the constitution prohibits discrimination in the name of religion:

The constitution of India is for citizens of India, and the CAB is a special provision for those who are not Indian citizens. Therefore, it is wrong to say that CAB violates the constitution. Moreover, there are many discriminatory laws in our constitution. We do not have equal laws for every citizen. The government has control over Hindu temples but not Mosques or Churches. We have different laws for schools run by Hindus. There are many facilities for other religions but not for Hindus. The list is endless. As the constitution already allows discrimination among even the citizens, it will be incorrect to say that excluding Muslim citizens from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan violates the Constitution of India.

People in North East are opposing CAB because it is discriminatory:

Although it is true that some people in north-eastern states, particularly in Assam, are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, their reason is completely different from the left-liberals and opposition parties. People in the north-east are against giving citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh or anywhere, regardless of religion, and that’s why they are opposing it. People in the northeast don’t want any foreigners to be given citizenship, while opposition parties are against the exclusion of Muslims. Both the groups are having a different opinion over the bill. 

Credit for Information: OpIndia

Writer, historian, and activist Dharam Sikarwar is a very active author The Youth. He writes on national and international issues, environment, politics. He is an avid book reader as well.