In search of an Ashiana
In search of an Ashiana
Afghanistan was a secular country but after coup against Afghan president Najeebullah, it was taken overtaken by extremists and Taliban who primarily targeted the minorities and all the minorities including Sikhs and Hindus had to escape from Afghanistan.
In Pakistan and Bangladesh too, non-Muslims face constitutional and legal discrimination. There are lakhs of Hindu and Sikh refugees who have migrated from Pakistan and Bangladesh over the years due to various reasons including persecution by the majority community, aka Muslims, in these countries. More and more such people keep pouring into India every year and consequently have sought asylum in India.
To provide an identity to these sufferers Prime Minister Modi had said, on various occasions, that Hindu refugees from Pakistan and Bangladesh would be treated at par with Indian citizens.
Consequently, the government has come forward with The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019. The Bill aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are of Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Buddhist and Christian extraction and who had migrated to India without valid travel documents or the validity period of whose documents had expired during their stay in India. These people were compelled to seek refuge in India owing to religious persecution or fear of religious persecution in their countries of origin.
The new Bill has also clearly defined who will be considered an illegal immigrant, has set the cut-off date for entry into India to December 31, 2014 and inserted a specific clause to grant a hearing to an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) before his/her card is cancelled for reasons specified in the law.
The Union Cabinet Wednesday cleared the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 granting exemption to a large part of the North East region from applicability of the proposed law that aims to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The bill is likely to be placed in Lok Sabha on Dec. 9 for debating and approval. NDA government is confident to get the bill passed in Rajya Sabha too.
After the passes of amendment bill and enactment of law these unprivileged people will get their long cherished dream of a new Ashiana fulfilled.