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For the benefit of people who are finding it difficult to get a reasonable understanding of what's going on around the CAA and NRC without being overwhelmed, I've cobbled together a short summary based on publicly available information. #CAA #NRC
1/n The NRC initially came about in 1951.
2/n Cut to the Bangladesh War in the 70s, when many immigrants moved to India, and there were protests.
3/n The Assam Peace Accord signed in 1985 stated that illegal immigrants in Assam would be identified (through the NRC) and deported. Then nothing happened...
4/n Till 2013, when the Supreme Court asked about it, and the task was resumed. The NRC in Assam was finally published in August 2019. Protests erupted across the state, as ~19 lakh people were left out of the list (the draft published a year prior excluded over 40 lakh people).
5/n People stay in India by proving their citizenship. They do this by showing that
- either they or their parents were on the original NRC list
- either they or their parents were on an electoral list before the Bangladesh War i.e. 1971
(cont'd in the next tweet)
- can produce paperwork in the form of property documents, bank accounts etc. dated before 1971
- they are a citizen (or are related to a citizen) who lived in a different part of the country and moved to Assam after 1971

or… by becoming citizens through the CAA.
7/n There is a weird exemption where a Foreign Tribunal can “cancel” your citizenship even if your name appears on the NRC.
Similarly, the government can “cancel” your Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) status in certain cases (think Aatish Taseer).
8/n The CAA or Citizenship Amendment Act provides persecuted religious minorities from certain countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) a path to citizenship. Minorities are defined as people in each of these countries who do not practise the state religion i.e. Islam.
9/n Those who cannot prove their citizenship, and have no path to citizenship will be placed in detention centres, presumably for...ever?
10/n The constitutionality of the bill is expected to be challenged in the courts based on various sections.
11/n Section 14: Equality before law. Is the classification based on “intelligible differentia” and does it have a “reasonable nexus” with what it hopes to achieve, or is it arbitrary? Look up these terms for a clearer understanding of how they apply in this context.
12/n Offends the secular nature of our nation. The term "secular" was introduced in the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment in 1975 and is in a sense all-pervading, though there is no specific section that covers it.
13/n There are many other sections under which objections have been raised.
14/n The disquiet in the North East has a different dimension. An Inner Line Permit (ILP) covers many parts of the North East. Outsiders are not permitted to live here; in fact a special permit (like a visa) is required even to visit these areas.
15/n People who become citizens through the CAA cannot work or settle in ILP protected areas (Arunachal, Nagaland, Mizoram and parts of Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura). People who live in areas not protected by the ILP are apprehensive about how the CAA will impact them.
16/n At this point of time it is not clear what the implications of a nation-wide NRC would be.
17/n There are many different voices in this debate with legitimate concerns, all of which deserve to be heard.
18/n Scrapping the CAA, but keeping the NRC means that lakhs of immigrants (who have lived in India all their lives) will have no path to citizenship.
19/n Amending the CAA to include all persecuted minorities in these countries (or perhaps other neighbouring nations as well) provides a path for lakhs of people, especially those who have lived in India all their lives to become legal citizens of India.
20/n Keeping the CAA but scrapping the NRC means that some people (but no Muslims) legally become citizens of India and earn a right to vote, and no one is forced to prove their citizenship.
n/n Scrapping both resumes status quo at least as of 2018 before the list was published in Assam.
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