Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 19, 15 December 2019

Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
Sukanya Bali

In news
The new citizenship amendment bill grants Indian citizenship to any non-Muslim minority, from three neighboring countries, (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan) who entered India before December 31, 2014. The bill grants citizenship to people belonging to six religious’ communities- Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian, who fled persecution from Muslim majority countries. The bill categorically avoided Muslims. 

Issues at large
Indian government passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill on 13 December 2019. Critics of the bill said that the law is discriminatory to Muslims and is against the secular spirit of the constitution. 

Aggrieved people took to the streets in protest against the controversial law. Sections of the population also protested because they believed that granting citizenship to erstwhile refugees/illegal migrants would put pressure on state resources and job opportunities.

Thousands of troops have been deployed, the internet has been shut down, around 21 people have been killed. The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Abe, from Japan, was canceled, due to the massive protests in Assam. U. N. Human Right watch has shown its concerns and has stated the Bill as, “fundamentally discriminatory in nature”.

In perspective
Firstly, since the bill denies citizenship based on religious affiliations, it is fundamentally discriminatory and against the basic structure of democratic India's constitution
Secondly, in Assam Citizenship Amendment Bill violates provisions of Assam accords, 1979. It will grant citizenship to many more who have migrated until 2014, and possibly alter the demography of regions. The bill has aroused fear among the indigenous community of becoming a minority in their own state. Fear has gripped people that culture, traditions, and language would be impacted.

Thirdly, states like Kerala and Punjab have already expressed their disapproval towards the bill. As people stage protests in different parts of the country, which may lead to conflict between the central and state governments. 
Fourthly, the law may stoke Hindu-Muslim conflicts in India. 
Beyond domestic politics, the Citizenship Amendment Bill might also have international implications. In essence, as the law is discriminatory towards Muslims, it may affect India's relationship with Islamic countries.  A federal panel in the US is reviewing the case and is planning to impose sanctions on the Home Minister. 
Revoking the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, passing the citizenship amendment bill, are widely said to be part of the greater Hindutva agenda of the right-wing BJP led government in India. Sooner or later, the effects of domestic policies will be felt in the foreign policy of the country. 

Sukanya Bali is a Research Associate with ISSSP. She can be contacted on  

February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off

October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases

September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 

July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence

June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 

May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal
January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free

August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar