Date- 14th January, Time- 4:30pm
Venue- Under the Banyan Tree
With the Citizenship Amendment Bill turning into an Act, there’s a sense of confusion among the population that the CAA and NRC will deny citizenship to certain existing Indian citizens or specifically, that it is against Indian Muslims. In the 29th session of UTBT, we explore the nitty-gritties of the NRC and CAA. While there are fundamental differences between the two, there is a need to look at the consequences that might unfold once the two playout together. Along the sidelines, we also discuss the role of social media in the current instances of student protests and police brutality.
In the course of the discussion, we aim to cover the following themes:
NRC: NRC is the National Register of Citizens. The NRC identified illegal immigrants from Assam on the Supreme Court’s order. This has been a state-specific exercise to keep a homogenous ethnic population. But ever since its implementation, there has been a growing demand for its nationwide implementation. Now, many leaders at the center have proposed that the NRC in Assam be implemented across India. It effectively suggests bringing in a legislation that will enable the government to identify infiltrators living in India illegally; identify, detain and deport them. The major questions that arise out of this: who stands to lose, who will be affected and its long-term implications on the society.
CAA: Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019. The Act seeks to amend the Citizenship Amendment Act of 1955 and seeks to make foreign immigrants of certain religious communities coming from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. They will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in six years, rather than the required 12 years of permanent residency. It is the combination of CAA and NRC which has come into scrutiny with many believing that it leads to social exclusion and detainment of a particular religious community. In the context of this bill, we specifically want to discuss the following aspects: How does the bill change the criteria for Indian citizenship? Can Illegal immigrants acquire citizenship in the existing framework? To what extent is the act discriminatory, and is the proposed framework justified?
Social Media: With the rising backlash, there has been a vast inflow of vitriolic and polarizing content into social media platforms pertaining to this topic which may have a detrimental effect on the opinions formed by millions of Indians. We aim to discuss the relevance of social media, its role, if any, in distorting the reality and the gravitas of the situation.
Student Protests and Police Brutality: Across student campuses nationwide; protests have become a common phenomenon. While some protests focus on the above policies implemented, others focus on the acts of violence which students claimed to have been committed by the police, or towards those committed by anonymous, bi-partisan groups where the police failed to prevent violence.