Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is yet again in the news after Home Minister Amit Shah while countering the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, said that the CAA would be implemented once the pandemic situation is over. However, this is not the first time the Home Minister has promised so, but even during the campaigning for the assembly elections in West Bengal last year, the same promise was made. But so far, no headway has been achieved in this regard even as the Government has also failed in framing the rules for the CAA and has so far sought at least 5 extensions to do so.
It was the CAA, the legislation which sparked protests across the country and also caught the global eye while several countries expressed their concerns over the Act. Back home too, a sense of insecurity developed particularly among the people belonging to the Muslim community who participated in the protests and expressed their sense of fear after it was stated that they will have to prove their nationality.
There is another side to the story as to why the Home Minister chose West Bengal to talk about the implementation of the CAA: there is a community known as Matuas who basically belong to East Pakistan and have got a strong presence in 24 Parganas and Nadia districts while as they were promised citizenship by BJP and the early implementation of CAA, however, while the CAA has already instilled a sense of fear among Muslims, the implementation of the same continues to hang in balance, making the Matuas more insecure.
It is to be noted here that the CAA was notified in January 2020 and it seeks to ease citizenship for members of six minority communities: Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Parsi, Christian and Buddhist, from Muslim-majority Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. As the country erupted in protests after the CAA was passed by the Parliament, the Muslims alleged that the Government wanted to strip them of their citizenship, but the Government vehemently tried to make it clear that the law had got nothing to do with stripping anyone of their citizenship rather, the same was put in place to ensure that those who are fleeing Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan due to religious persecution get a home.
The Government has also been stating that the CAA has nothing to do with any Indian citizen and that the Indian citizens enjoy fundamental rights as guaranteed by the Constitution of India even as it said that no statute, including the CAA can take these rights away. But, those opposing the law are far from being satisfied and only see malice in it. However after a brief lull, now that the issue has once again been raked up, the same has given rise to suspicion among Muslims as well as the people belonging to the Matua community. Howvever the question remains: is the CAA move really for the greater good of people as well as the country, or is it just being used for vote bank politics?