Reiterating that the Citizenship Amendment Act is not a law to revoke citizenship, but to grant it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said some people with vested interest are misguiding the country’s youth.
Speaking at a prayer meet to mark the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda at Belur Math, Modi said, “There are a lot of questions among the youth about the new citizenship law, and some are being misled by rumours around it… it is our duty to clear their doubts.
“I repeat again, Citizenship act is not to revoke anyone’s citizenship, but it is to give citizenship. After independence, Mahatma Gandhiji and other big leaders of the time, all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan.”
Pointing at the students present at the event, he added, “You understood this very clearly. But those playing political games purposely refuse to understand. People are being misled over the Citizenship Amendment Act.”
He said that had the central government not brought in the amendment in the act, there would not have been such debates and discussions. “Had there been no such discussion, the world would have never known about the kind of atrocities the minorities face in Pakistan, how human rights are violated there…,” he emphasised.
He stressed that it is because of this initiative of the government that Pakistan is now answerable for “all the persecution the country has subjected its religious minorities to for the last seventy years.”
PM Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Kolkata, was met with protests against the new citizenship law on the very first day. On Saturday afternoon, protests were organised near the airport, where the PM landed. The protesters tried to block roads, and burnt effigies of Modi at major crossings in Kolkata. Protesters also carried “Go Back Modi” signs, black flags, and black balloons. A scuffle began at Esplanade after police stopped students and Left activists who tried to break barricades and march towards Raj Bhavan, where the prime minister met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.