Daily Answer Writing for UPSC –9th August 2023


Citizenship encompasses the nexus between a nation and its populace. The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), passed in 2019, aims to grant Indian citizenship to undocumented migrants who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The legislation specifically caters to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Eligibility hinges on residing in India for a specified period, which was reduced from 11 to 5 years for certain cases.


  • Protecting Persecuted Minorities: The CAA aims to provide sanctuary to minority groups facing religious oppression in neighboring countries.
  • Humanitarian Gesture: Supporters argue that the Act aligns with India’s tradition of offering refuge to those in need.
  • Religious Freedom: It upholds the principle of religious freedom by assisting persecuted communities.


  • Religious Bias: Critics contend that the Act discriminates by favoring specific religions and excluding Muslims, thereby undermining secularism and equality.
  • Exclusionary Approach: The Act omits other vulnerable groups, like Rohingyas and certain Muslim sects, facing persecution.
  • Constitutional Concerns: It’s alleged to violate Article 14 by providing differential treatment based on religion, leading to unequal protection under the law.

Way forward:

  • Inclusivity: Broaden the scope to include other persecuted groups irrespective of religion, ensuring comprehensive protection.
  • Equitable Application: Reframe the Act to adhere to constitutional values, addressing concerns about discrimination and arbitrariness.
  • Bilateral Diplomacy: Engage diplomatically with neighboring countries to address the root causes of persecution, thus minimizing forced migration.

In a democratic framework, the Parliament holds the authority to enact citizenship laws. However, any potential violation of constitutional principles necessitates judicial review. As the CAA’s impact unfolds, a holistic approach is vital, fostering inclusivity and upholding the values enshrined in India’s Constitution.

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