ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Seeking Refuge in India

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The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 is inviting nationwide protests and participation of diverse people, including intellectuals. These protests have raised multiple questions on the policy of the government, which, according to the protestors, is against the will of the people as well as the core constitutional values of the democratic and secular aspirations of the Constitution.

According to the United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) India has been a regular host of refugees since its inception. People from different parts of the world have come to India, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar to Eritrea, Iran and Iraq. Since 1959, India has hosted refugees from Tibet; since 1971, refugees from Bangladesh; since 1986, Chakmas, a Buddhist ethnic minority from the former East Pakistan; and since 1983, 1989 and 1995 refugees from Sri Lanka due to the civil war. Since 1980, conflict in Afghanistan and instability of the 1990s in Myanmar prompted further continuing waves of migration to India. The refugees in India have been alarmingly rising since 2005 and can increase due to the ongoing instability in the Asian subcontinent. Despite this, India has hosted refugees since 1971 without any specific law in place. The successive governments have failed to address the issues of the refugees and have utilised the same for their political vendetta.

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