Amid widespread protest across the nation, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) came into effect on Friday, January 10, an official notification from the Home Ministry said.
It seeks to accord Indian citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, provided they arrived in India on or before December 31, 2014.
#BREAKING: Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 officially enforced today by the Government of India. The Gazette of India notification has been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs which means provisions of the act come into force today onwards. #CAApic.twitter.com/80l2ioNahq
For the first time, religion a criterion to grant citizenship
"In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of the section 1 of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (47 of 2019), the Central Government hereby appoints the 10th day of January, 2020, as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force," the notification said.
It is for the first time that religion is made a criterion for granting citizenship in India.
But, why is there widespread criticism against CAA?
The Opposition and critics say that the exclusion of Muslims makes the Act unconstitutional and discriminatory. Others say that the CAA, clubbed with nationwide implementation of National Register of Citizens, can facilitate the expulsion of Muslims from the country.