New Delhi: On a day, several protests against the amendment to the Citizenship law erupted across the nation, the Centre clarified that any document related to the date and place of birth will be accepted as a proof of Indian nationality, though it has always maintained that CAA and NRC are not related. There is no compulsion to submit any document of the parents, the clarification came amid citizenship concerns.

An explainer shared by official sources said no document will be required for anybody’s pre-1971 genealogy as such a condition was specific to the NRC exercise in Assam and asserted that it will be sufficient to provide one’s details of birth like date and place in any future nationwide NRC, reported PTI.

BJP working president JP Nadda has said on Thursday that CAA and NRC will be implemented across the country irrespective of protests. NRC, as and when it is implemented, has nothing to do with any religion and will be for every citizen of India as it is a citizen register in which names of every Indian will be recorded, the MHA clarified.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act is a separate law and the NRC is a separate process, the MHA said, adding that the CAA has come into force nationwide after its passage from Parliament, while the NRC rules and procedures for the country are yet to be decided.

The new explainer said if somebody is “illiterate” and has no documents, witness and community verification will be allowed.

What Defines ‘Any Document’?

The explainer said that it has not been finalised yet. “This is likely to include voter cards, passports, Aadhaar, licenses, insurance papers, birth certificates, school leaving certificates, documents relating to land or home or other similar documents issued by government officials. The list is likely to include more documents so that no Indian citizen has to suffer unnecessarily,” it said.

Five Ways of Becoming a Citizen

Noting that a person’s citizenship is decided on the basis of the Citizenship Rules, 2009, the explainer said there are five ways for somebody to become a citizen, which are citizenship by birth, registration, naturalization, and incorporation.

Then how could 19 lakh people in Assam not prove their citizenship?

Responding to a question that if it is so easy to prove identity, then how 19 lakh people in Assam were affected due to the NRC, the explainer said infiltration is an old problem in the state and the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1985 had signed an agreement to curb it, putting the cut-off date of 25 March 1971.

“For the rest of the country, the NRC process is completely different and under The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003,” it said.

NRC will not exclude anyone for being transgender, atheist, Adivasi, Dalit, or landless without documents, the explainer said.

(With PTI inputs)