According to an advocacy group, over 800 Pakistani Hindus in Rajasthan who came to India seeking citizenship due to religious persecution would return to Pakistan in 2021, after finding that their citizenship application had not progressed.



The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, meant to help undocumented (illegal) migrants from the six persecuted communities in the three neighbouring countries, has not been notified by the Home Ministry yet.


Citizenship in India – Background

  • The Indian Constitution guaranteed citizenship to all of the country’s residents at the commencement of the constitution and made no distinction on the basis of religion.
  • The Indian government passed the Citizenship Act in 1955. The Act provided two means for foreigners to acquire Indian citizenship.
      • People from undivided India were given citizenship through registration.
      • Those from other countries were given citizenship through naturalisation.
  • A 1986 amendment to the Citizenship Act of 1955 was proposed and passed, restricting the Indian citizenship to those born in India prior to 1 July 1987 to either a mother or a father who was an Indian citizen.
      • It was enacted to curb illegal migration from Bangladesh to India (mainly Assam).
  • The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2003 amended the Citizenship Act, 1955 by –
      • Introducing and defining a notion of “illegal migrant”, who could be jailed or deported.
      • Making illegal immigrants ineligible for citizenship by registration or by naturalisation.
      • Disallowing citizenship by birth for children born in India if either parent is an illegal immigrant.
      • Introducing a notion of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) for citizens of other countries who are of Indian origin.
      • The Act also mandated the Government of India to construct and maintain a National Register of Citizens (NRC).


About the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019

  • The Act seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrant for Hindu, Sikh, Parsi, Jain, Buddhist and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who have lived in India without documentation.
  • They will be granted fast track Indian citizenship in 5 years (11 years earlier).
  • It also provides for cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration where the OCI card-holder has violated any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force.
  • Several protests have erupted since its passing and many petitioners have gone to the Supreme Court of India challenging the statute on the basis of it being anti-Muslim and violating Article 14 (Right to Equality) of the Indian Constitution.



  • The CAA, 2019 applies to those who were forced or compelled to seek shelter in India due to persecution on the ground of religion. It aims to protect such people from proceedings of illegal migration.
  • The cut-off date for citizenship is December 31, 2014 which means the applicant should have entered India on or before that date.
  • The act will not apply to areas covered by the Constitution’s sixth schedule, which deals with autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.
  • Additionally, the act will not apply to states that have an inner-line permit regime (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram).