10th December 2019 Daily Current Affairs:
Hong Kong marks 6 months of protests
- Vast crowds of black-clad demonstrators thronged Hong Kong on Sunday in the largest anti-government protests since local elections last month that boosted the pro-democracy movement seeking to curb controls by China.
- It was the first time since August that the Civil Human Rights Front — organiser of million-strong marches earlier in the year that paralysed the Asian finance centre — had received authorities’ permission for a rally. It estimated turnout of 8,00,000 while police said 1,83,000.
- Chants of “Fight for freedom! Stand with Hong Kong!” echoed as demonstrators, from students to professionals and the elderly, marched from Victoria Park towards the financial area.
- As darkness fell, some protesters spray-painted anti-Beijing grafitti on a Bank of China building. Riot police stood on guard, restrained as protesters yelled “dogs” and “cockroaches.”
- The former British colony of 7.4 million people reverted to Chinese rule in 1997. It is governed under a “One Country, Two Systems” formula guaranteeing freedoms not allowed in mainland China, but many fear Beijing is tightening the screws.
- China blames the six months of unrest on interference by foreign governments including the United States and Britain.
- On Saturday, two leaders of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong were denied entry to the neighbouring Chinese city of Macau, without explanation.
- President Ram Nath Kovind recently laid the foundation of a memorial dedicated to the 1817 Paika Rebellion.
- They were recruited since the 16th century by kings in Odisha from a variety of social groups to render martial services in return for rent-free land (nish-kar jagirs) and titles.
- They were the traditional land-owning militia of Odisha and served as warriors.
- When armies of the East India Company overran most of Odisha in 1803, the Raja of Khurda lost his primacy and the power and prestige of the Paikas went on a decline. So, they rebelled back.
- The British were not comfortable with these aggressive, warlike new subjects and set up a commission under Walter Ewer to look into the issue.
- The commission recommended that the hereditary rent-free lands granted to the Paikas be taken over by the British administration and this recommendation was zealously adhered to. They revolted against the British.
- Bakshi Jagabandhu Bidyadhar Mohapatra Bharamarbar Rai, the highest-ranking military general of King of Khorda Mukund Dev II, led the Paikas to join the uprising.
- However, the rebellion also had several other underlying causes – like the rise in the price of salt, abolition of the cowrie currency for payment of taxes and an overtly extortionist land revenue policy.
CAB Bill introduced in Parliament:
- The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was introduced in the Lok Sabha by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 9, 2019. It was passed on the same day in Lok Sabha.
- The bill is re-introduced to amend The Citizenship Act, 1955, which was enacted to provide for the acquisition and determination of Indian citizenship i.e. to regulate who can acquire Indian citizenship and on what basis.
The original act states that a person may become an Indian citizen if
- they are born in India or
- have Indian parents or
- resided in the country for a period of time, etc.
- But the Indian citizenship is not provided to illegal migrants. An illegal migrant is a foreigner who:
- enters the country without valid travel documents or
- enters with valid documents, but stays beyond the permitted period.
- The Indian Government can imprison or deport illegal migrants under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.
- A foreigner may register as an OCI (Overseas Citizen of India) under the 1955 Act if they are of Indian origin or the spouse of a person of Indian origin. They have the right to travel to India, to work and study in India.