Assuring people from NE India, PM says the Act has special provisions for the region
BELUR (West Bengal): Seeking the help of the youth to spread awareness about the new citizenship law, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged some political parties were not ready to understand the legislation and continued to fuel misconception about the Act which provides citizenship and does not snatch it.
Speaking on the occasion of the 157th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at the Belur Math — global headquarters of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission — Modi said youth and other citizens of the country are being misled on the CAA which came into force on Friday almost a month after Parliament passed the law on December 11.
“CAA is a law to provide citizenship, it does not snatch citizenship. The government is providing citizenship through the law, it is not taking away the citizenship of anyone,” Modi said while addressing youth at Belur Math, founded by Swami Vivekananda, here in Howrah district close to Kolkata.
Swami Vivekananda’s birth anniversary is celebrated as National Youth Day across the country.
“Some political parties are not ready to understand CAA, they are fuelling misconception,” he said.
“What is there in this Act? Why was it needed? There are a lot of questions in the minds of the people which has been fuelled by various people. Lot of youth have awareness.
“But yet there are some who are victims of misconception, rumours. It is our responsibility to make these people understand. It is our duty to clear their doubts on this issue,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that the CAA provides citizenship to those migrants who faced persecution in the name of religion in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“It’s not that we came up with a new law overnight. The people who believe in the Constitution of India will be given citizenship on the basis of certain legalities.”
Narrating the ordeal faced by these refugees before they came to India, Modi said the honours of their sisters and daughters were at stake.
“For them survival itself became a challenge. Their lives went haywire due to various crises,” and asked the gathering whether the government should send back such refugees to die.
The audience, who included a large number of students from various schools run by the Mission, said “No” in chorus.
Modi then posed whether it was right or wrong to work for others, to which the reply was a loud “Right”.
Modi threw another question, asking the assembly if they all would be with him on the issue. The answer was a resounding “Yes”.
Not stopping at that, Modi urged the audience to raise their hands and say whether they back his move. He again received a positive reply.
The Prime Minister then took potshots at political parties opposing the legislation.
“Did you understand it clearly? Did the young students understand it? You are understanding it, but those playing political games are not ready to understand. They are continuously spreading misconception about citizenship act for political reasons,” he said.
The Prime Minister expressed happiness at the youth dispelling the misconception of the people, and said his government was following the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi, who supported citizenship for persecuted minorities.
The Prime Minister pointed out that his government’s CAA initiative has compelled Pakistan to answer about persecution of minorities in their land.
“It’s because of this (citizenship) law that people here have become aware of the kind of persecution the Hindus in Pakistan face. Pakistan is now answerable to us,” he said.
Assuring people from North East India, he said the Act has special provisions for the region.
The Prime Minister’s remarks related to CAA came in the backdrop of various violent demonstrations in different cities across the country against the law which experts say is against the Muslim community.
He also appealed to the youth to clear misconception among people related to the CAA.
As per the law, migrants of six non-Muslim communities — Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian — who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 will be given citizenship. (IANS)