Veteran photojournalist and Padmashri awardee Raghu Rai said he feels people who have lived for three or four decades in India should not be thrown out by any system. He also warned that “wrong policies” to communally segregate India might end up further dividing the country.
“I think there is no reason we should throw out those who have spent many years in his country. Those who have lived here for 20, 30 or 40 years are part of us now. Like it or not, they are here. I don’t know why they (government) are applying NRC, unless they have different agenda behind it,” Rai told indianexpress.com explaining his experience covering the recent protests against CAA and NRC and equating them to what he saw covering refugees over the years, especially in Tripura during the Bangladesh crisis.
Rai said a whole lot of unrest, dissatisfaction is prevalent in India at various levels and the government should take youths protesting on the streets into confidence instead of trying to ‘teach them a lesson’. “I have been to Jamia Milia Islamia University, the Red Fort, Jantar Mantar etc. to see the protest. Those were innocent school, college-going students protesting there. I didn’t see any Hindu or any Muslim protesting. The (central) government should realise the mess they are making,” he said.
“Don’t teach them a lesson. Last time when Pakistan tried to teach them (students) a lesson, a Bangladesh was created. Take them into confidence, understand their grievances,” he said.
Describing CAA and NRC as ‘wrong decisions’, Rai said: “If you begin to segregate communities 72 years after Independence, you are destroying the fabric of this secular country. By taking such drastic measures, you will divide India yet into another piece of land.”
“India is making progress in some areas. We are doing some good things as well. But this country is so big and there are so many religions that it will need a cohesive, meaningful blueprint for development. Mahatma’s India and Vivekananda’s India has always had this policy of welcoming people.”
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