Ever since the Central Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come into existence, the country has seen a plethora of changes in law and administration. Some of these changes have been breakthrough in their true sense while some of them have received wide public criticism for adverse consequences. In this series of articles, we will go through major changes in law brought about by the Modi Government.
Integration of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India
Changes in Law
This brave legislative change was brought into India in the year 2019 by amending Article 370 of the Indian Constitution. This article had previously provided a special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The state had its own flag, separate laws, and internal administration. However, by the Jammu Kashmir reorganization act of 2019, the Modi government nullified the region’s special status and merged it into the Union of States of India. Currently, all central laws applicable upon India are also applicable upon the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Citizenship Amendment Act
Changes in Law
This Act was introduced in order to provide citizenship to immigrants who had entered India illegally before the date: 31 December 2014. According to the Act, immigrants who were Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians hailing from Bangladesh Pakistan or Afghanistan. This move of the Modi government was severely criticized by the Muslim community since the illegal migrants who would be given citizenship did not include migrants from the Muslim community. The act went against the ideals of a secular democratic country and the Modi government strongly showed its favoritism towards a Majoritarian rule that was not inclusive towards Muslims.
Legalization of Homosexual Relationships
Changes in Law
The Indian laws initially did not recognise homosexual relationships. In fact, the Indian Penal Code, in Section 377, penalized sexual relationships between individuals of the same sex and classified this as an unnatural offense. However, the Modi government has contributed hugely to change this orthodox approach of law. It legalized sexual relationships between members of the same sex. Conservative critics widely criticized this act of the government since it signifies adoption of the Western culture, however, the change is undoubtedly in clarification with inherent human liberty. The laws still have a long way to go since the decriminalization is meaningless without a provision for homosexual marriages which does not exist in India as of now.
Introduction of GST
The introduction of the GST on the Goods and Service tax was regarded to be the largest change brought into the economic sphere ever since India gained independence. This new taxation system eliminated the system of separate taxation at different stages such as separate taxes for the central and state governments. By removing the multiplicity of taxes, it unified all taxes to be paid by the consumers into a single tax called the Goods and Service tax. This change also eliminated chances of multiple or repetitive taxation and higher taxation.
In this article, 4 major changes, i.e., integration of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India, imposition of the CAA, legalization of homosexual relationships and introduction of GST in the field of taxation; have been dealt with.
Stay tuned for the Part II which would further investigate 4 more changes in the legal sphere.