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Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019: Consequences on the domestic and foreign policy

  • IASbaba
  • December 24, 2019
  • 0
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POLITY

TOPIC: General Studies 2:

  • Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure
  • Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) of 2019: Consequences on the domestic and foreign policy

Context:

  • In India, widespread protests that began in the Northeast are now raging across the country.
  • Two Bangladesh ministers cancelled their visit to India, the Japanese Prime Minister postponed his visit to the country and the annual India-Japan summit was cancelled.

JAPAN’s Investment in North- East :

  • As part of its Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy, Japan has been investing in the Northeast in a big way. 
  • Recently Japan  decided to invest Rs 13,000 crore in different projects in the Northeast. 
  • Building Northeast road network connectivity, water supply projects and economic modernisation of the region.
  •  It will be financing the construction of India’s longest bridge between Dhubri in Assam and Phulbari in Meghalaya
  • Japan has contributed official development assistance loans for the North East Road Network Connectivity Improvement Project.
  •  Private Japanese organisations are also financing a host of developmental projects in the region. 

Impact of CAA on Japan India relations:

  • The CAA protests and Internet shutdowns in the region have come as a huge shock to Japan and its investment plans in the region which hinge on stability and a business-friendly environment conducive.
  • If Japan has to rethink on these development projects, it will do so keeping in mind not  only the Northeast but the rest of India too. (Japan  is involved in various big-ticket infrastructure projects in Himachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Odisha, etc.)
  • The volatility of the Northeast can possibly be a setback to the collaborative efforts between India and Japan in providing an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Japan is also a member of the Quad, which came into existence to counter Chinese economic prowess and unlock India’s potential in the Indo-Pacific. 

Impact on India’s International relations:

  • UN human rights office has described the CAA as “fundamentally discriminatory”. 
  • The U.S., the U.K., Canada and others have issued travel advisories to those visiting the Northeast.

Way forward:

  • The government should  utilise diplomatic channels to put forth its views before the stakeholders in the international community

Conclusion:

  • The government should analyse how such a decision like CAA would affect the economic development of the Northeast.

Connecting the dots:

  • When Kashmir is already volatile, can India afford to open another frontier of vulnerability in the Northeast?
  • What are the side effects on the country’s relationship with foreign stakeholders heavily invested in the Northeast?

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