Actor Rajinikanth Wednesday said political parties with ulterior motives in Tamil Nadu were instigating the public on the new Citizenship (Amendment) Act, National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC). Speaking to the reporters at his Poes Garden residence in Chennai, the actor said he would be the first to raise his voice if there was any threat to Muslims in the country.
“There is no threat to Muslims. Political parties are spreading fear over CAA for their political gain, and religious heads are also siding with them. This is very wrong. The Centre has clearly stated CAA does not affect Indian citizens. It is about providing citizenship to the residents of neighbouring countries,” Rajinikanth said.
“Do you know how much rights Muslims have here? during Partition, (some) Muslims who stayed back here decided this is their motherland and said they would live here whether it is life or death. How can anyone send them out of the country? I will be the first one to raise my voice if there is any threat to Muslims here.”
Rajinikanth added that students protesting against CAA should “analyse the issue deeply” before getting involved. “Students should analyse the issue deeply before getting into protest. They need to have a word with their professors or elders before getting involved in these protests otherwise, political leaders will try to use them for their own benefit. Also, we will never know how the police will react to a situation. If they file any FIR, the students will lose their life.”
There have been nationwide students protests against the contentious law since December. Protests in Jamia Millia Islamia in January took a violent turn after the Delhi Police entered the campus and lobbed tear gas shells at students.
Rajinikanth said the NPR was essential to differentiate between Indian citizens and foreigners. “NPR is essential and required. The Congress had done it in 2010, it was done in 2015, and it has to be done in 2021 for the population. Shouldn’t we know who are all citizens of this country and who are all from outside?” he asked.
On NRC, the actor said details would only emerge after it is drafted. “NRC has not been implemented yet… the Centre is thinking about it. After the NRC draft proceedings, we will get to know the full details.”
When asked about the summons he received regarding the violence in Thoothukudi, Rajinikanth said, “I have not received any notice till now. Once I do, I will definitely extend my full co-operation.”
Regarding Sri Lankan Tamils, Rajinikanth opined that refugees who are living here for the past 30 years need to be provided with dual citizenship. “We should not the disturb the people present in Sri Lanka, we should not consider them as a minority. They have been living there since the Chola period.”
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