Why there was a need of CAA before NRC?

Why there was a need of CAA before NRC?
By M Burhanuddin Qasmi

The need of Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) before National Register of Citizens (NRC) is because it was seen in Assam that NRC has excluded more non-Muslims from the citizenship list than Muslims. There was a need to appease and protect Bangladeshi illegal immigrants who are mainly BJP voters and living in Assam, Tripura and West Bengal. The CAA was also promised in the BJP election manifesto.

Moreover, CAA+NRC will be an additional tool to appease the Bengali immigrants and polarize majority minority votes on religious line in West Bengal which is election bound next year and a big state of India. Winning West Bengal by the ruling BJP will be a big milestone for the Party in entire Northeast Frontier region. 

What is the link between NRC and CAA?

These two are very strongly interlinked, without each other they both will be handicapped. See for example, the clause 3 (2) and (3) of the Citizenship Amendment Act to ascertain how these two are clubbed with each other.

In Assam-NRC some 19 lakhs people are presently left out, roughly 5 lakhs are Hindu Bengali immigrants from Bangladesh. All of them can be enrolled merely if they prove they are refugees and arrived in India before December 2014. However, remaining around 14 lakh, majority of whom are sons and daughters of the soil- indigenous and tribal people of Assam, from all religions including Hindus and Muslims, will remain non-citizens of India if they fail to prove again by documents during the claim and objection procedures that they are Indians. It means CAA will give citizenship to those who came from three foreign countries and take away citizenship from some of those already citizens who are indigenous Indians and voted too but do not have pieces of other papers to prove their Indianness due to their lack of education or being poor.

NRC without CAA is nothing; the process will be just a waste of national recourses and CAA without NRC doesn't make sense for BJP. However, the CAA has already taken away the being "secular" status from India. 

Is CAA against India's Constitution?

Yes, by all means it is. It is against the preamble of the Indian Constitution which stands on secularism as one of its strongest pillars. It is against Articles 13, 14, 15 and 21 of Indian Constitution. It is also plainly against Assam Accord 1985. Read article 13 which prohibits enacting any law which may go against the basic principles of the Constitution and fundament rights of citizens, article 14 which speaks about equality of a "person" before the law and article 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, caste, religion, language or place of birth and the article 21 is about personal liberty of all citizens of India.

Until one is proven guilty the Govt. cannot seize liberty of a citizen but in the cases of detention in Assam in the name of foreigners the same has not been followed. For instance, if a person could not prove his Indian citizenship due to lack of documents with him or her, it directly does not mean that he or she is a foreigner unless the Govt. proves from which country and place he or she had come from. Unless you do not prove he or she is a foreigner and illegally living in India with evidence in your hand, you cannot punish him or her before the crime is proven. But you are punishing hundreds of people in Assam just because they couldn't prove that they are Indians, however, you too couldn't prove that they are foreigners. This same practice will not be done in reset of India is not assured.

When the NRC plan or details are not yet ready as the TOI reports reads (20 Dec. online edition), then how the Govt. knows what and how will it be and how not?

I don't know the answer. TOI might have the answer or it could be one more Jumla and propaganda from the ruling Party.

If the NRC is like a simple documentation process as mentioned in TOI report then why the Govt. is going to do one more process after Aadhar and NPR (National Population Register) which will be very costly and deadly tired-some exercise?

Don’t know! May it is to divide Indians into religions, language and geographical areas and rule for a long time. Or may be to just keep Indians in lines like they were standing during demonization so that they cannot think of or ask about development, economy, price-hike and jobs etc.

What some people are saying that people do not understand CAA and NRC issues and are being misled by wasted interests?

Better take out the Constitution of India and read yourself. Read Assam Accord and listen to people of Assam who have already suffered for more than two decades.

The author is an Assamese native and editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai