Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that citizenship amendment act (CAA) is only a law for those persecuted in Pakistan and not about taking away the citizenship of any Indian.
At an address at the Belur Math in Howrah he said, “Many youths are being misguided regarding CAA. “What is CAA? Why was it necessary to enact it? Many youth are enlightened but many are being misled. It is our responsibility to explain the CAA to such youth.”
“We did not make a law overnight to give citizenship to anyone.…. CAA is not about taking away citizenship but to give citizenship. CAA is only an amendment for those persecuted in Pakistan and put their lives at risk… Should we send these people back to die in Pakistan?… Is this noble work or not?” he said.
Special moments from the Belur Math. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/XcgQ6gAt4A
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 11, 2020
The Prime Minister who began a two-day visit to Bengal on Saturday claimed that the CAA also brought into focus Pakistan’s persecution of minorities.
“We took this initiative and that’s why this debate. And it is for this debate that the world has come to know what is happening to minorities in Pakistan.”
“You understood this very clearly. But those playing political games purposely refuse to understand. People are being misled over the CAA..”
He made no mention of Bangladesh and Afghanistan, the two other countries from where non-Muslims refugees would be given Indian citizenship under the CAA if they had come to India before December 31, 2014.
Amid widespread protests in the country against the CAA, he accused the political parties of misleading the people. The Opposition claims that the CAA Is divisive and discriminates against Muslims and makes religion a test of citizenship.
“Some political parties are spreading confusion about the CAA,” he said.
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who met Modi in Kolkata on Saturday and said she had urged him to withdraw the CAA.
Bengal has seen large protests against the CAA.
Modi said visiting Belur Math in Howrah was like a pilgrimage and that Swami Vivekananda’s vision will continue to guide him.
“Coming to Belur Math is nothing short of a tirth yatra (pilgrimage). For me it is like coming home,” said Modi, who became the first prime minister to stay overnight at the Math, the headquarters of the Ramkrishna Mission in Howrah.
He also paid tributes to the founder of Ramakrishna Mission, Swami Vivekananda on his 157th birth anniversary.
Modi tweeted pictures of his meeting with the saints at the Math which he described as “special moments from the Belur Math”.