The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) basically states that religious minorities who have sought asylum in India from Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan and have resided in India for at least 7 years will be granted citizenship even if they don’t have any papers on them. It has been passed on 11 December 2019 in the Parliament of India. The Indian Government had promised in previous elections to offer Indian Citizenship to persecuted religious minorities from neighbouring countries who entered India before 31 December 2014. The CAA provides a path to Indian citizenship for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jain, Parsi and Christian minorities settled in India from neighbouring countries.
If you open a newspaper, switch on the television or go to any social media site, all you will see are posts, tweets, comments, debates and quotes on the CAA and the protests that are happening daily due to this clear discrimination. The protests are peaceful and are occurring due to the exclusion of Muslims. But if you read the law that has passed, eventually, you will notice that it is not just excluding Muslims, but Hindus from Sri-Lanka and Buddhists from Tibet and China. The real question is ‘should the persecuted minorities be granted citizenship in India?’ My answer is no. As India has over 1.37 billion people of which barely 20% manage to pay taxes and only the top 1% are able to do it annually. From the 7.8 billion people in the world, 1/6th of the people live in India. It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that we can’t afford, in the name of fairness, to be unfair to the original citizens of India.
“In the last 200 years the population of our planet has grown exponentially, at a rate of 1.9% per year. If it continued at this rate, with the population doubling every 40 years, by 2600 we would all be standing literally shoulder to shoulder.”-Stephen Hawking
Written by: Aliya Shetty Oza, student, 6th Grade, Ecole Mondiale