Rajasthan RSS Group Issues CAA Eligibility Certificates

Why in News?

In Rajasthan, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-affiliated group has been organising camps and issuing “eligibility certificates” to members of the Hindu community from Pakistan to help them apply for citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA).

Key Points

  • The group, Seemajan Kalyan Samiti, which operates in the areas along the Pakistan border, has helped around 330 people from Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jodhpur in Rajasthan upload their documents on the citizenship portal launched by the Home Ministry.
    • The CAA grants citizenship to members of six “persecuted” non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
  • The certificate, a mandatory document to be issued by a “locally reputed community institution”, is to be enclosed with an affidavit and uploaded on the CAA portal along with other documents.
  • It is to be noted that since the Pakistani Hindus entered India legally, on pilgrim or tourist visas, they were eligible for citizenship under Section 5 and Section 6 of the Citizenship Act, 1955.
  • The CAA also intends to benefit the Matuas, a Scheduled Caste community in West Bengal who came from Bangladesh during and after the 1971 war.

Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019

  • About:
    • The CAA provides citizenship on the basis of religion to six undocumented non-Muslim communities (Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians) from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India on or before 31st December, 2014.
    • It exempts the members of the six communities from any criminal case under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport Act, 1920.
      • The two Acts specify punishment for entering the country illegally and staying here on expired visas and permits.
  • Rules:
    • The application process for citizenship under CAA has been made under Section 6B of the Citizenship Act, 1955. Applicants need to prove their country of origin, religion, date of entry into India, and knowledge of an Indian language to qualify for Indian citizenship.
    • Proof of Country of Origin: Relaxed requirements allow various documents, including birth or educational certificates, identity documents, licenses, land records, or any document proving previous citizenship of the mentioned countries.
    • Date of Entry into India: Applicants can provide 20 different documents as proof of entry into India, including visas, residential permits, census slips, driving licenses, Aadhaar cards, ration cards, government or court letters, birth certificates, and more.

Matua Community

  • Originally from East Pakistan, the Matuas migrated to India during Partition and after the creation of Bangladesh. However, a sizable number are yet to get Indian citizenship.
  • Matua Mahasangha is a religious reformation movement that originated, around 1860 AD, by Harichand Thakur, at Gopalganj in the Faridpur province of present-day Bangladesh for the upliftment of the oppressed.
    • He preached love, tolerance, gender equality and non-distinction irrespective of caste, class and creed.
  • In the beginning Matua-mahasangha followed simplified rituals, but later adopted Vaishnavism.