Rajasthan: RSS-affiliated group issues CAA eligibility certificates to Pakistani Hindus

CAA: The initiative has garnered widespread attention, with images surfacing on social media platforms showcasing the organisation's efforts.

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Courtesy: ANI

In a significant development, a group affiliated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has been conducting camps in Rajasthan, issuing "eligibility certificates" to Hindu community members from Pakistan. These certificates are intended to facilitate their application for citizenship under the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), marking a proactive move towards aiding persecuted minorities.

Seemajan Kalyan Samiti's Initiative

According to a report by The Hindu, the Seemajan Kalyan Samiti, operating primarily in areas bordering Pakistan, has been instrumental in assisting approximately 330 individuals from Jaisalmer, Barmer, and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Through their efforts, these individuals have uploaded their documents on the designated citizenship portal established by the Home Ministry, a crucial step in the application process.

CAA Provisions and Certificate Issuance

The CAA offers citizenship to members of six persecuted non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh. A key requirement is the submission of an eligibility certificate, to be issued by a locally reputable community institution. In this case, the Seemajan Kalyan Samiti, being a registered organisation, has been authorised to issue these certificates, signed by designated office-bearers.

Proactive Assistance and Community Support

The initiative has garnered widespread attention, with images surfacing on social media platforms showcasing the organisation's efforts. These camps provide a platform for individuals to apply for citizenship, highlighting the commitment to assisting those in need within the community.

Unmet Needs and Ongoing Challenges

Despite these efforts, there remains a significant backlog of individuals awaiting citizenship status, with estimates suggesting thousands in Rajasthan alone. Many Pakistani Hindu refugees have been residing in India for years, yet continue to await formal citizenship recognition, underscoring the urgency of streamlined processes and proactive measures.

CAA: Addressing Legal Migrants and Undocumented Residents

It is crucial to note that while the CAA primarily targets undocumented migrants, it also benefits legal migrants by reducing the eligibility criteria for citizenship. This provision is particularly relevant for Pakistani Hindus who entered India legally on various visas, enabling them to seek citizenship under the amended law.

Controversies and Opposition Critique

Amid these developments, there has been criticism from certain quarters, questioning the requirements and procedures outlined by the CAA. Concerns have been raised regarding the documentation process and the role of religious institutions in certifying eligibility, prompting broader debates surrounding the legislation's implementation.

As India witnesses proactive measures to aid Pakistani Hindu refugees in their quest for citizenship, the initiative underscores the complexities and challenges inherent in the CAA's implementation. While offering hope to persecuted minorities, it also prompts reflections on the broader implications and debates surrounding citizenship laws in India.

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