Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar on Wednesday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) was a “just” law to benefit the communities that had fled to India till 2014 facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
Mr. Javadekar was addressing a press conference on the decisions of the Union Cabinet.
When asked to comment on All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s statement that the CAA would make India a theocratic state, and his brother, MLA Abkaruddin Owaisi’s comment that “we had ruled for 800 years but were now being asked for proof of citizenship,” the Minister said, “There is no need to give a reply to such baseless talks, because when you go to get a mobile SIM card, then also you are asked for name, address and phone number.”
Asked about the Supreme Court declining to stay the CAA, he said, “This is a law for justice. Those who oppose it may have a different thinking but the Supreme Court has taken a decision not to give it an interim stay.”
The naturalisation process was still available to all. Singer Adnan Sami had been given citizenship through the same, he noted.
To a question about Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s statement that questions about parents may be dropped from the National Population Register (NPR), Mr. Javadekar said he had said some questions would be optional and may be “considered dropped”.
On the International Monetary Fund lowering India’s growth forecast, he said: “We are on our revival. From the Budget,you will get to know the government’s plan of action. Our fundamentals are very strong and, therefore, nobody should create a pessimistic view about the economy. Yes, there are ups and downs in the world economy. And that reflects on every country, It is reflecting on China and is reflecting on India also.”
He said the “exact figures” would be known on February 1, referring to the Budget.