CAA, NRC will not harm Muslims — RSS Chief
Guwahati, July 21 (IANS): Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat, who is on a three-day visit to Assam, on Wednesday said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would not harm the Muslims in any way.
He said the CAA and the NRC have nothing to do with a Hindu-Muslim divide and a communal narrative around these issues is being spread by a section of people to for their political ends.
Bhagwat, who arrived in Guwahati on Tuesday evening, said not a single Muslim would face any loss due to the new Citizenship Act.
“Since 1930 there have been organised plans to increase the Muslim population not in connection with terrorism and economy but to become a dominant force. It happened in Punjab, Bengal and Assam. There are plans to turn these areas into their majority so that things work on their own terms. This happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Still we want assimilation and want to live together,” the RSS Chief said after launching a book titled ‘Citizenship debate over NRC and CAA: Assam and the Politics of History’.
The book has been authored by Guwahati University Professor Nani Gopal Mahanta and was released at a function at the famous Srimanta Sankardev International Auditorium, Kalakshetra in Guwahati.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also spoke in the function.
“After the partition we have taken care of our minorities even though Pakistan did not do it. NRC is only a process to find out who is a genuine citizen, nothing else. The matter (NRC) is in the government domain. A section of people want to get political mileage by creating a communal narrative involving both the NRC and CAA,” Bhagwat said.
“Since the Mahabharat period, Assam has had a history of migration but never so much fear from illegal influx. Assimilation of all communities should take place but there should not be any fear among other communities,” he said.
Advocating the need for “Akhand Bharat” (undivided India), the RSS Chief said countries such as Pakistan which broke away from India are now in distress.
“Akhand Bharat is needed for the welfare of the universe. India has the ability to overcome several challenges and the world looks towards it to overcome those challenges and difficulties. With “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (world is one family) belief, India can again put forward happiness and peace in the world.”
Bhagwat said, “When we talk about “Akhand Bharat” our aim is not to achieve it with power but to unite through ‘Dharma’ (policy) that is ‘Sanatan’ (eternal), that is humanity and this is called as Hindu dharma.”
RSS sources said during his stay in Guwahati, Bhagwat will hold meetings with senior RSS leaders in different parts of Assam and other north-eastern states, including Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Tripura.
This is Bhagwat’s first visit to Assam after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government returned to power for the second consecutive term in the north-eastern state after winning the 2021 Assembly polls.
Assam CM calls for secularism in context of Indian civilisation
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday asserted the concept of secularism needs to be defined in the context of `Indian civilisation’ and accused the media of being partial towards Left-liberals.
Attacking Leftist intellectuals, liberals and the media, Sarma, at a function where RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat launched a book, claimed the country’s intellectual society is still dominated by the left-liberals with the media giving them more space while ignoring alternate voices.
“An intellectual terrorism has been unleashed and the Left in the country are more leftists than Karl Marx. There is no democracy in media….they have no space for Indian civilisation but there is space for Karl Marx and Lenin”, he claimed.
India’s right-wing has long disputed the concept of secularism as espoused by both western thinkers and Indian intellectuals who propound that the state needs to be equidistant from adherents of all religions.
Mediapersons may agree in private to an alternative narrative but they prefer giving space to left -liberals saying that this reflects an independent view, Sarma alleged.
“The left thinking has to be challenged and more thought provoking books based on history, of our long struggle for existence must be documented in the right perspective”, he said.
India has been a secular country since the Rig Vedic Age and “we have given the concept of secularism and humanity to the world. Our civilisation is five thousand years old and we have accepted diversity of thought, religion and culture since ages”, the Chief Minister said.
Referring to the Citizenship Amendment Act, Sarma said that there are two perspectives on this- for protestors outside Assam, the demand is why Hindus alone should be given citizenship, Muslim migrants too should be covered.
In Assam, however, the protest against the Act was that neither Hindus nor Muslims from other countries should be given citizenship.
“It was the so-called secular protestors at the national level who tried to give a communal colour to the entire protests”, he said.
The CAA is for those “who are victims of partition and not beneficiaries of a communal country created on the basis of religion”, he said.
The CAA says Indian citizenship ,may be granted to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis and Christians from neighbouring countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have come in before end-December 2014 and had suffered “religious persecution or fear of religious persecution” in their country of origin.