The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is being implemented to give citizenship to Hindus and other communities coming to India after being persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, is being eagerly awaited in Rajasthan. More than 30,000 people in Rajasthan are waiting for the implementation of the CAA. These are the people who have come to various districts of Rajasthan from Pakistan are living as refugees and have been waiting for Indian citizenship for years.
Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jodhpur, Sri Ganganagar and Bikaner are the border districts of Rajasthan and a large number of Hindus who have migrated from Pakistan live here. About 18,000 registered Pakistani Hindus are living in Jodhpur alone and have been waiting for Indian citizenship for many years.
These are people who, troubled by the oppression in Pakistan, came to India on long-term visas and now waiting for Indian citizenship. It takes five to ten years and sometimes even more time for them to get citizenship because the process is lengthy and involves many formalities including intelligence reports.
It is not easy for them to get citizenship and due to this neither they can get decent jobs here nor their children can get better education.
Hindu Singh Sodha, President of Lok Seemant Sanghthan working for years for the citizenship of Pakistani Hindu refugees in the border districts of Rajasthan, said that if CAA is implemented, many of our problems will end and thousands of people in Rajasthan are eagerly waiting for it.
"We have given many suggestions to the government to simplify the process and now we are waiting for rules and bye-laws the government has made as sometimes the complexity of rules makes things difficult," said Sodha adding that most of the Hindu refugees who have come to Rajasthan have complete documents.
Notably, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be implemented before the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. This bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2016 and got the President's clearance in 2020.
The CAA provides to give priority citizenship to the people of religious minorities - Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian communities who have come to India after being persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.