Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019, passed by the Indian Parliament, has remained contentious and Indian Muslims have been up in arms against the law because they deem it a law that will throw them out of India. Protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, spread to almost every nook and corner of the country. Some participated in the protest as the CAA allegedly violated the country’s secular identity, while others feared that it will endanger their linguistic and cultural identity. The views, issues and debates about CAA have been widespread, but here the question I am going to put up is, should Muslims having genuine identity proofs worry about CAA or NRC?
CAA and NRC (National Register of Citizens) are connected, and NRC will provide the basis for CAA to apply its provisions and vacate what govt. says, illegal immigrants. NRC is a house to house exercise enumeration to collect specified particulars relating to each family and individual residing in a local area, including the citizenship status. So, unlike many claims, people will not be asked to submit documents related to their grandparents, like people presenting their identity cards or any other paper for registering their names in the voter list or getting an Aadhaar card. Similar documents are required to be provided for the NRC. Any document related to date and place of birth will suffice as proof of citizenship. However, the decision on what documents will be acceptable is still pending. They are likely to include voter ID card, passport, Aadhaar card, driving licence, insurance paper, birth certificate, school-leaving certificate, documents relating to land or home or other government-issued documents. If a person is illiterate and does not have the relevant documents, the authorities will allow him to bring a witness. Further evidence and community verification will also be allowed.
The fact is that NRC excludes only those Muslims who do not possess documents. Those Muslims who possess documents have nothing to worry about CAA or NRC, for that matter. However, Muslims being apprehensive about being the next sufferer is misleading and holds no ground. They can not be thrown out of the country or in concentration camps. Some original Muslims who may not possess documents and have migrated from their native place to any other part where community evidence can not be collected, will be given enough opportunities to prove their point. In a normal country, the government knows who is a citizen and who is not and when it has doubts, it carries out the required checks on an individual. In India, the test involves the whole country. Those who possess documents can never be targeted. Even the Indian Prime Minister himself promised that Muslims need not worry; the allegations are misnomers. The terminology and the technicality of CAA combined with NRC clearly specify that only illegal immigrants (those who do not possess the documents) will be thrown either in concentration camps or out of the Indian territory. The genuine document possessing Muslims are safe and must repose their faith in the Indian constitution and government of India.