The Ministry of Home Affairs have explained the provisions pertaining to Citizenship in India and some concerns regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019.
1. Citizenship of India can be acquired by Birth, descent, registration, naturalisation or incorporation of territory. Any foreigner on becoming eligible can acquire citizenship by registration or by naturalisation irrespective of his country or community.
2. It enables foreigners of 6 minority communities from 3 countries to apply for citizenship on basis of religious persecution. It does NOT amend any existing legal provision which enables any foreigner to apply for Indian citizenship through registration/naturalisation.
3. The CAA does NOT apply to Indian citizens. They are completely unaffected by it.
4. In the last 6 years, 2830 Pakistani, 912 Afghani & 172 Bangladeshi citizens have been given Indian citizenship. Many of them are from majority community of these countries.
5. Such migrants of the majority community of neighboring countries shall continue to get Indian citizenship if they fulfil the eligibility conditions already provided in the law for registration or naturalisation.
6. On different occasions special provisions have been made by Government in the past to accommodate the citizenship of foreigners who had to flee to India. E.g. 4.61 lakh Tamils of Indian origin were given Indian citizenship during 1964-2008.
7. The CAA does not target any religious community from abroad. It only provides a mechanism for some migrants who may otherwise have been called “illegal” depriving them of opportunity to apply for Indian citizenship provided they meet certain conditions.
8. CAA protects the interests of the tribals & indigenous people of North East by excluding areas under 6th Schedule and areas covered by Inner Line Permit. Therefore, there is no question of any influx of foreigners swamping the indigenous population.