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'Youth being misled by opposition over Citizenship Amendment Act,' says PM Modi at Belur Math on National Youth Day

PM Modi accused the opposition of playing 'political games' over the citizenship issue

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, while addressing people at Belur Math, said that the youth of the country is being misled on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. He added that regrettably, some have fallen to the rumours.

"The youth of the country have been filled with a lot of questions about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by different people. A lot of youngsters are aware, but there are some who have fallen to the rumours," said the Prime Minister said while addressing people at Belur Math.

He said that the CAA has brought up long-unanswered questions. "Pakistan will now have to answer why it committed atrocities on minorities," said PM Modi. Attacking Pakistan for committing atrocities on minorities, Modi said: "India's youth is raising voice against atrocities being committed on minorities in Pakistan. Had this issue not been raised, the world would not have known about this. This is the result of our initiative that Pakistan will now have to answer why it committed atrocities on minorities over the last 70 years."

Throughout the country, student demonstrations have become the face of protests against CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Even in West Bengal, the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) has projected the party's student wing - the Trinamool Chhatra Parishad - for the anti-CAA-NRC protests in Kolkata. Students in universities across the country, such as those in Jadavpur University (JU), Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Milia Islamia (JMI), Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and even in the Institutes of Technologies (IITs), are leading the anti-CAA-NRC protests. In such a backdrop, the Prime Minister's comment seemed to refer to these youth when he said that "some have fallen to the rumours."

To this extent, PM Modi accused the opposition of playing 'political games' over the citizenship issue to preserve its vote bank politics.

He reiterated that the amended citizenship act does not revoke anyone's citizenship but provides it to groups who have faced persecution elsewhere. Modi even cited the ideology of Gandhi and other political thinkers to justify the act.

"I repeat again, Citizenship act is not to revoke anyone's citizenship, but it is to give citizenship. After independence, Mahatma Gandhi Ji and other big leaders of the time all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan," PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister also talked about protecting the identity, demography, and culture of the North-East with the help of the amended citizenship act.

"North-East is our pride. CAA will not have any adverse effect on their demography, identity and culture. The Central government has made provisions for this," he said.

The new law promises citizenship to members of 6 non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who entered India before December 31, 2014.

Critics say that the new law is against the secular nature of the Indian Constitution and clubbed with the NRC may be misused to strip away some Muslims' citizenship in the country. The BJP, however, has argued that the law has nothing to do with India's Muslims and only helps those who fled religious persecution in the neighbouring countries. 

 

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