• ‘CAA across India within 7 days’: Shantanu Thakur's big 'guarantee' in Bengal

    ‘CAA across India within 7 days’: Shantanu Thakur's big 'guarantee' in Bengal
    Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a statement last year, emphasized the inevitability of CAA implementation...

    Digital Desk: Union Minister Shantanu Thakur's recent assertion that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be implemented nationwide within the next seven days has reignited the contentious controversy surrounding this piece of legislation. 

    Speaking at a public rally in West Bengal's South 24 Parganas, Thakur, a BJP Lok Sabha MP, confidently declared, "The Ram mandir (temple) in Ayodhya has been inaugurated, and within the next seven days, the CAA will be implemented across the country."

    Enacted by the Narendra Modi government, the CAA grants Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants – Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians – from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who arrived in India until December 31, 2014. This law triggered significant protests in various parts of the country after its passage in December 2019.

    Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in a statement last year, emphasized the inevitability of CAA implementation, asserting that it is the law of the land. Shah accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of misleading the public on the issue, deepening the political divide between the BJP and Trinamool Congress.

    The BJP's commitment to implementing the CAA served as a prominent electoral strategy in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly polls in West Bengal. Party leaders believe it contributed to their increased influence in the state. However, the delayed formulation of rules, required within six months of presidential assent, has been a point of contention.

    The Ministry of Home Affairs has been consistently seeking extensions from parliamentary committees for framing these rules since 2020. 

    Despite this, more than 30 district magistrates and home secretaries in nine states have been granted powers to confer Indian citizenship on non-Muslim minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan under the Citizenship Act of 1955.

    The annual report for 2021-22 reveals that, from April 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021, 1,414 foreigners belonging to these non-Muslim minority communities were granted Indian citizenship through registration or naturalization. However, the sensitive political nature of the issue has resulted in authorities in Assam and West Bengal not yet being given these powers.

    The CAA remains a polarizing topic, with proponents emphasizing its humanitarian aspect for persecuted minorities and critics expressing concerns about its potential impact on the nation's secular fabric. 

    Shantanu Thakur's recent claim has only added fuel to the ongoing debate, raising questions about the imminent nationwide implementation of the controversial legislation. As the political landscape continues to evolve, the fate of the CAA remains uncertain, with its impact reverberating across the diverse socio-political fabric of the nation.