This is what our country is all about; people are proud to hold Indian citizenship and will do its best to represent it. The context of the people saying “I AM PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN can witness this”. The law recognizes the citizenship of a person under the Citizenship Act, 1955 and its amendment deals with acquisition and termination of citizenship. Constitution provides with the Citizenship rights for an overseas citizen of India, Non-Resident Indian, and persons of Indian Origin.
Citizenship is where a person holding it enjoys the full membership of any community or state with civil and political rights. We can say it is the legal relationship of an individual with a particular state which is expressed by pledging his loyalty towards state and by carrying out duties like:
(i) paying taxes
(ii) serving in an army during need
(iii) respecting national principles or values and
(iv) other duties towards the nation.
The Indian Constitution provides the Parliament with Article 11 under which the Parliament can regulate citizenship by law with the provision divided into 2 parts of the constitution with citizenship.
General Articles that deal with the citizenship under the Indian constitution are from article 5-11 including the domicile, migration, a person having origin in India but residing outside for work and other.
Commencement of Citizenship:
- Every person who has a domicile in the territory of India.
- Persons who migrated to India from Pakistan before 19th July 1948 and since then have been ordinarily residing in India.
- People who migrate to India from Pakistan on or after 19th July 1948 but got themselves, duly registered as a citizen with a competent officer appointed for that purpose.
- Persons who migrated to Pakistan after 1st March 1947 but returned to India under a permit for resettlement.
- Any person who or either of whose parents or any of whose grandparents was born in India.
A person can get the citizenship only by following the prescribed procedure in the prescribed manner with certain terms and conditions including some of them such as a person cannot have citizenship of two states at the same time, method of termination and other rights to those who possess the overseas citizenship and other.
Acquisition of citizenship:
The Citizenship Act, 1955 provides for the acquisition of Indian Citizenship after the commencement of the Constitution in five ways that are birth, descent, registration, naturalization and incorporation of territory.
Loss of Acquisition:
The Citizenship Act, 1955 also lays down the three modes by which an Indian citizen, whether a citizen at the commencement of the Constitution or subsequent to it, may lose his citizenship. These are renunciation, termination, and deprivation.
In this changing world, the acquisition of Citizenship method had also changed.
In earlier times, people from different regional states that religion was the most fundamental thing about people. People were the ‘atoms’ of a nation. Faith was the basis of national identity. Therefore, Hindus and Muslims couldn’t live together. Each faith had to have its own nation.
After different writers wrote the various books asking for Hindutva in the year 1923 and Muslim in 1930. Five years later, Bhimrao Ambedkar concurred the idea that Hindu and Muslim could not inhabit with each other. It was like an empty disquisition, a mad project, to which no sane man would agree. To this India’s Founding Father wrote a secular Constitution guaranteeing the right of people to practice any faith of their choice and equality before the law.
The lurch towards a Hindutva-Pakistan is possibly illegal. In 1973, a thirteen judge bench of Supreme Court produced India’s most significant ruling, the Kesavananda Bharati judgment. Here, they held it that no Government can make a change with the basic structure of the Constitution.
The Effects of the Bill
The bill was presented before the Lok Sabha for the Citizenship Act, 1955. Through this, it initiated a small step from the world’s largest democracy for being a possible ‘Hindutva-Pakistan’. This makes it simple for illegal Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Parsi, Jain and Buddhist immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to become the citizens but originally law doesn’t allow Citizenship for illegal people. As per the Law, the immigrants must be living in India for 11 years to become an Indian Citizen. But, as the scenario is changing, the citizenship for non-Muslims is for 6 years.
The form of Citizenship contains the part which inquires about the religion of a person. It can be either a Muslim or a Hindu. And in addition to this, both are given the nationality of being an Indian citizen.
To conclude it can be stated that now even though the religion matters, but that is only for the Citizenship form. After the amendment is done by the Supreme Court, the benefit of Citizenship can now be provided to an illegal person. India is becoming a religion based State with the motive of equality among the people of the nation.
By Shruti Goel,
A B.Com.LLB 4th Year student of Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan