National

‘A sinister plan to divide nation’

CAA-NPR-NRC part of RSS-BJP agenda to create ‘Hindu Rashtra’: Chidambaram

Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said the proposed nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) was a “sinister and mischievous plan” to divide the country and was part of the efforts of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party to push its agenda of a “Hindu Rashtra”.

The “trinity” of NRC-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA)-National Population Register (NPR) would directly affect the Muslims as any other community, even if they were left out in the NRC, would be included through the CAA, the Congress leader said during a briefing of presspersons at the party headquarters.

“The NRC is a sinister and mischievous plan to divide India. Under the NRC, every person residing in India has to prove that he is a citizen of India. In modern, liberal democracies, citizenship is based on the principle of territoriality,” he said. “Naturally, there is widespread fear and uncertainty among the Muslims of India,” he added.

“The NRC-CAA-NPR exercise is part of the RSS-BJP plan to push its divisive agenda of a Hindu Rashtra. The Constitution of India embodies the values of equality, equal protection of the laws, secularism, humanism and constitutional morality. In order to protect these values, every patriotic Indian has the duty to fight the pernicious doctrine of Hindu Rashtra,” he said.

Terming the CAA “patently discriminatory”, he said three neighbouring countries had been included, while Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bhutan had been excluded and some minority groups, including Muslims, kept out of its ambit.

‘World of difference’

Mr. Chidambaram, who was the Home Minister when the UPA had updated the NPR in 2010, said there was a “world of difference” between the NPR of 2010 and the proposed NPR of 2020. “NPR 2010 was conducted in a few States when there was no controversy about NRC and without the unhappy experience of the Assam NRC,” he said. “NPR 2020 will ask for information on the last place of residence, the place of birth of the parents, voter identity, passport number, driver’s licence, PAN and Aadhaar. Who added these additional fields and why.”

“In terms of text and context, NPR 2010 and NPR 2020 are very different. NPR 2020 with the additional fields is a disguised attempt to do an Assam NRC-like exercise throughout the country and therefore, it must be stoutly opposed.”

Commenting on the protests over the CAA-NRC, he said thousands of people, especially students, were on the streets to protect the Constitution given by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Babasaheb Ambedkar.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 2:56:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/a-sinister-plan-to-divide-nation/article30497852.ece

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