Congress’ Stand On CAB Hypocritical; This Act Passed By Nehru Government In 1950 Had Similar Provisions

by Jaideep Mazumdar - Dec 9, 2019 06:10 AM
Congress’ Stand On CAB Hypocritical; This Act Passed By Nehru Government In 1950 Had Similar Provisions India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

The Congress may be leading the Opposition chorus against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), but it would do well to remember that a bill implicitly containing similar provisions was passed by the Union government under Jawaharlal Nehru in 1950.

The Immigrants (Expulsion From Assam) Act, 1950 was presented and piloted in Parliament by the then Union home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in March 1950.

This legislation provides for expulsion of all illegal immigrants present in Assam “before and after commencement of the Act”.

However, the act makes a vital exception: it says that the act will not apply to any person who has migrated to Assam from East or West Pakistan due to “civil disturbances” or fearing such disturbance. The act also extended to the whole of India.

This is what the vital excluding provision of the 1950 Act said: “Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to any person who on account of civil disturbances or fear of such disturbances in any area now forming part of Pakistan has been displaced from or has left his place of residence in such area and who has been subsequently residing in Assam”.

This provision implicitly applies to minorities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis — who fled or will flee the two Pakistans (East and West) due to “civil disturbances”.

Legal experts point out that this provision could not have applied to Muslims of Pakistan since they would not have faced or would be facing ‘civil disturbances’ in Pakistan. The experts also say that religious persecution is implicit in the definition of civil disturbance.

What is also implicit in the 1950 act is that those exempted from its provisions — that is, those who will not be expelled from Assam (and India) — will be granted Indian citizenship.

This is similar to what the CAB also proposes: granting of Indian citizenship to people belonging to six minority communities in Bangladesh (erstwhile East Pakistan), Pakistan and Afghanistan who would have fled those countries due to persecution or discrimination.

Thus, it seems, the Narendra Modi government is merely following in the footsteps of the government led by Nehru by introducing the CAB. The CAB only makes the 1950 Act more robust and explicit.

Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber
Comments
Get Swarajya in your inbox everyday. Subscribe here.
Advertisement

Latest Articles

    Artboard 4Created with Sketch.