CAA, NRC won’t affect India’s Muslims: RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, along with Assam CM Himanta Biswa Sarma and author Nani Gopal Mahanta, during the launch of Mr. Nani's book on NRCand CAA debate, in Guwahati, Assam on July 21, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) would not harm India’s Muslims, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said at a book launch function in Guwahati on Wednesday.

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A communal narrative was being spun by a section of people trying to derive political mileage out of these issues, he stated.

The CAA was passed in 2019 to fast-track the citizenship process for non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who took refuge in India till December 31, 2014. The NRC of 1951 was updated in Assam to leave out 19.06 lakh people out of some 3.3 crore applicants.

Mr. Bhagwat said, “Not a single Indian Muslim will face any loss due to the new citizenship Act. India has been following the [1950] Nehru-Liaquat Pact that state each country would protect its minorities while Pakistan failed to do so”.

‘India welcomes outsiders’

Indians had always welcomed outsiders but the “designs by some to impose their language, religion and food habits on others’ led to fears, he observed.

“There have been organised attempts to increase the Muslim population since 1930, not in connection with terrorism and economy but for the community to become a dominant force. This happened in the Punjab, Bengal and Assam,” he alleged.

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The plan worked to an extent with the Partition and the creation of Pakistan. Although a part of Bengal and Punjab got divided, Assam was saved, he said.

Religious persecution, he noted, forced people in Pakistan to seek refuge in India while others came with the intention of increasing their population. “The CAA clearly caters to those who came from the [specified] countries because of persecution. We cannot ignore the plight of the minorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan,” he insisted.

“The world beyond cannot teach us secularism, socialism and democracy. Respect for other religions, cultures, and languages are part of India’s culture. Our Constitution clearly defines the rights and duties but the problem arises when some people want all the rights and do not want to follow the duties,” he stressed.

‘NRC a tool’

Mr. Bhagwat defended NRC as a tool to find out who among those residing in India were citizens. “Exercises like the NRC happen in many countries,” he asserted.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the anti-CAA protests in the State was against the inclusion of all communities unlike the “very communal” opposition elsewhere in the country, because Muslims did not figure in the list of persecuted communities.

“But we have a duty towards the persecuted people. That is why I will always remain a supporter of the CAA. At the same time, we will ensure measures to protect our Assamese identity and culture,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 4:16:43 PM |

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