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Citizenship like human rights has universal appeal consisting both individual and collective elements. While citizenship bestows upon an individual certain rights, it entails certain duties and obligations too. Indian citizenship is moulded by the experiences of its colonial past and the bloody partition that followed independence. The rules of gaining citizenship were amended from time to time to meet the demands of the various circumstances that unfolded. One of the major issues was the flow of migrants following partition both from the eastern and western borders and the continued migration from East Pakistan even after the creation of Bangladesh. The Citizenship Acts that followed, especially in the case of Assam, which has been a victim of illegal migration for more than four decades, has created a lot of internal tensions and conflicts and dissatisfactionwith the incumbent governments. The issue remains unsolved. There are groups of people who are aspirants of citizenship in India. The issue of refugee is not very clear in the Indian constitution to which the central government has responded to in a number of ways.
This paper attempts to study the constitutional character of the Indian citizenship from time to time and the resultant implications.