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5) Irrespective of its fate in the Upper House, the proposed citizenship amendment Bill has polarised the Northeast. Critically examine. (250 words)

Topic–  Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

5) Irrespective of its fate in the Upper House, the proposed citizenship amendment Bill has polarised the Northeast. Critically examine. (250 words)

Indianexpress

Why this question

Since Lok Sabha has passed the citizenship amendment Bill, the Bill has caused issues in North East and ignited a debate. Such debate has to understood in depth.

Key demand of the question

The question expects us to discuss the details of the Bill, examine the reasons why it is leading to issues in North East, discuss other issues in the Bill and thereafter provide the way forward.

Directive word

Critically examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic,  get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any . When ‘critically’ is suffixed or prefixed to a directive, all you need to do is look at the good and bad of something and give a fair judgement.

Structure of the answer

Introduction – In your introduction, highlight that lok sabha has recently passed the bill and highlight the issues it has created in North East.

Body

  • Explain about the Bill – The Bill paves the way to grant citizenship to six religious minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 2014.
  • Discuss why it is leading to issues in North east
    • there has been a strong resistance to the Bill (especially in Assam) as it would pave the way for giving citizenship, mostly to illegal Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, in Assam who came after March 1971, in violation of the Assam Accord of 1985.
    • There are an estimated 20 million illegal Bangladeshi migrants in Assam and they have inalienably altered the demography of the state, besides putting a severe strain on the state’s resources and economy.
    • The people of Assam — which has historically had the highest migration from what is now Bangladesh — see the bill as an unconstitutional attempt to undermine the current NRC process, and grant Indian citizenship to a large number of people who would otherwise be ineligible.
  • Discuss the key issues in the Bill
    • makes illegal migrants eligible for citizenship based on their religion and clearly violates Article 14 of the Constitution.
    • The bill clearly violates the Assam Accord.
    • The bill has potentially interesting implications for asymmetric federalism.

Conclusion – Give a fair and balanced view and discuss way forward.