Citizenship Act: Congress creating atmosphere of fear: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused the Congress and other opposition parties of peddling lies over the amended Citizenship Act and dared them to publicly declare that they are prepared to accord Indian citizenship to all Pakistanis.

Speaking at a rally in Jharkhand, PM Modi said, “Congress and its allies are creating an atmosphere of fear to scare the Indian Muslims. They’re spreading violence.”

Citizenship (Amendment) Act neither takes away the rights of an Indian nor harms him in any manner, PM Modi said and urged students to protest democratically.

“Indian Constitution is our only holy book. I appeal to youth in colleges to debate our policies, protest democratically. We will listen to you. But some parties, urban Naxals, are firing off your shoulders,” PM Modi said.

He alleged that “urban Naxals” were trying to instigate youth in the country to foment trouble.

“The law we have made is for people fleeing 3 nations due to religious persecution; It’s for those who are miserable and can’t go back,” said PM Modi.

He said the law was enacted for religious minorities of three nations – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – who fled their countries because of religious persecution.

“It’s for people who have fled three countries due to atrocities on account of their religious faith. It’s for those who are living in miserable conditions and cannot go back,” he said.

CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT NOT ANTI-MUSLIM: RAJNATH SINGH

The amended Citizenship Act is not anti-Muslim, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh assured the Indian community in the US and said “our culture does not teach us to hate”.

Singh, who arrived in the US on Monday for the 2019 US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in Washington on December 18, addressed members of the Indian community here during an event organised by the Consulate General of India at the educational organisation, Asia Society.

He spoke on various decisions taken by the NarendraModi government, including the abrogation of Article 370, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Triple Talaq bill and India’s response to terrorism.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is now law, is not anti-Muslim,” Singh said.

Singh said Muslims are not included in the CAA as these three countries are “theocratic” and “Islamic” states and “in an Islamic state, at least those who follow the religion of Islam do not face religious persecution. May be they face some other persecution but not religious persecution because the religion of that state is Islam”.

“That is why, we didn’t give it to Muslims. Otherwise we are not the ones to discriminate on the basis of caste, creed or religion. Our culture does not teach us to hate,” he said amid an applause from the audience.

“I consider every Muslim living in India as my brother, as my family member,” he said, adding that it is India which has given the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ to the world.

In response to a question about protests and disruptions in Assam and Bengal over the CAA, he said, “The situation is under control. Any confusion will be removed.”

“I want to make it clear that the CAB is not anti-Muslim. If anyone can tell me that the CAB is anti-Muslim, then we will rethink about CAB” but not if someone tries to just create an air over the issue. “This will not do.”

Applauding the courage and valour of India’s armed forces, Singh recalled his France visit in October to receive the first of the 36 Rafale fighter jets at a facility of Dassault Aviation in the French city Bordeaux.

He said now that India will have the jets, “if we have to eliminate the terror camps, there will be no need to take the planes to Pakistan. We can do it from India”.

Replying to a member of the audience who commented that Singh had said that if talks are held with Pakistan, it will now be on Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK), the defence minister said, “What is there to talk, PaK is ours”, amidst a loud cheer from the audience.

Singh had said that if talks were held with Pakistan in future, it would be only on PaK.

Singh said India’s military strength is increasing, but the country also takes precaution even when dealing with Pakistan.

He said if India wanted, it could have attacked the military establishments and civilian areas in Pakistan but that would have resulted in a lot of casualties.

“But we took precaution and decided that we have to target and eliminate only those places where there are terror training camps. Not one civilian was killed and neither did we attack any Pakistani military establishment. We never want to attack a country’s sovereignty. This is our character.”

On the abrogation of Article 370 to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, he said the BJP government has done what it had promised in 1951.