National

RSS lauds Citizenship Bill passage, calls it “courageous step”

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi.   | Photo Credit: PTI

more-in

Everyone should rise above their political compulsions and welcome it, says Bhaiyyaji Joshi

RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and described it as a “courageous step”.

Mr. Joshi told reporters here that all should rise above their political compulsions and welcome the Bill.

He said the RSS stand had always been that a Hindu who comes to India because of persecution in another country cannot be termed as an intruder but a refugee.

Mr. Joshi thanked the BJP-led Central government, the Prime Minister and the Home minister for taking the initiative.

“When the country was partitioned, there was a demand for division on religious grounds. However, India did not have any such idea of forming a ‘religious country’. But the country was partitioned over this issue and the leaders then had accepted it,” he said.

If partition had not taken place on religious grounds, then many incidents thereafter would not have happened, he said.

“Subsequently, Pakistan and Bangladesh declared themselves as Islamic states and there were doubts then about what place the minorities residing there will get...because as per the agreement, it was said the minorities will not face any injustice,” said Mr. Joshi.

Unfortunately, this did not happen and the Hindus residing there in large numbers “became target of persecution”, he said.

Looking at the census conducted from time-to-time, the number of Hindus residing in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh came down drastically, he said.

“The question arises where these people went, and it comes to fore that many of them came to India,” he said.

Such Hindus had no other place to go than India, where they could live a life of respect and security and hence, they kept coming to India.

“However, due to lack of provisions in the law, these people were deprived of the citizenship of India for many years. There was a huge need that these persecuted people may not be called ‘intruders’, but termed as refugees, and this was our stand from quite sometime,” Joshi said.

“There is a need for these refugees to have a respectable life and common rights in our country. But a lot of time passed and these refugees had to wait,” Mr. Joshi said.

But the present government had taken a “very good step” and the minority communities from these countries would get a respectable place in India, he said.

The Bill provides an ‘assurance’ (of a respectable life) to the refugees, he said.

“I feel this Bill has assured the minorities coming from these countries, and we welcome them and express our happiness for them. Now, their refugee status will end and they will live as citizens and will get benefits of the citizens’ rights.”

Mr. Joshi said all should rise above political compulsions and welcome this bill.

“The Home Minister has repeatedly said the Bill does not pose any threat to the Muslim community in our country and no one’s rights will be curtailed,” he said.

On protests in some northeastern States, Mr. Joshi said, “Some States have certainly witnessed unrest, but I am confident that the Centre will take steps to check rumours there and clear doubts of the people. They will keep living as earlier.”

Mr. Joshi also hoped that the refugees who get Indian citizenship will be able to live peacefully.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 11:17:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rss-lauds-citizenship-bill-passage-calls-it-courageous-step/article30289809.ece

Next Story