Mumbai

Christian BJP leader stands by CAA

Tom Vadakkan (right) and Anup Joseph, secretary of the NCF, at a press conference in the city on Monday.

Tom Vadakkan (right) and Anup Joseph, secretary of the NCF, at a press conference in the city on Monday.  

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Tom Vadakkan, chairman of National Christian Forum, praises Modi government

Tom Vadakkan, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and chairman of the National Christian Forum (NCF), on Monday said irrespective of their community, Indians should not fear their citizenship being scrapped as long as the Constitution is intact.

He was addressing a press conference on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh. Mr. Vadakkan said, “CAA is about giving shelter to minorities who may not be content, were left out during Partition or are suffering injustice, which also includes Christians. As someone belonging to the Christian community, I am nothing but thankful to the government for this step.”

He cited the example of Jogendra Nath Mandal, one of the founding fathers of Pakistan. Mr. Vadakkan said, “Mandal, who had invested his life in the uplift of the Dalit community, saw the social injustice faced by the community in Pakistan. He returned to India during Liaquat Ali Khan’s era. There still will be such people in Pakistan who are facing the brunt of something they would not face if had they been in India. Through this Act, the government is giving us so much and not taking anything as such.”

On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mr. Vadakkan said, “The Prime Minister himself has not specified anything. However, there is no necessity to freak out about the NRC because it has not reached an infant stage.”

Anup Joseph, secretary of the NCF, said, “The political parties who consider certain communities to be vote banks are perpetuating a sort of fear psychosis among people, which is why there is a certain unrest. I think protesting is all right because it is, basically, exercising one’s democratic freedom, but that should not lead to violence.”

Mr. Joseph said people should adopt peaceful methods to voice their dissent. He said, “The Kerala unit secretary of the BJP, A.K. Nazir, was attacked with chairs inside a mosque yesterday. How can such methods that are used by people with a difference of opinion be right in any way?”

On detention centres being set up in several States, Mr. Joseph said, “They exist everywhere, even in Maharashtra. Detention centres are inhabited only by infiltrators or those whose visas have expired. Owing to international conventions, they cannot be put in jails.”

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 7:23:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/christian-bjp-leader-stands-by-caa/article30562412.ece

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