Defending the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the Government has brought the legislation to correct “historical injustice” and to fulfill a promise to religious minorities living in neighbouring countries. His observations came in the backdrop of continuing criticism of the CAA.
Making his Government’s stand clear on the CAA, Modi, while addressing the annual Prime Minister’s National Cadet Corps(NCC) rally here, said the law was brought to “correct a historical injustice and fulfill a promise to minorities in the neighbouring countries.”
He also spoke of the injustices made during partition, when a “line was drawn across a piece of paper”. At the time, Modi said “those who governed an independent India accepted partition.”
“Nehru-Liyaquat pact spoke about protecting minorities, Gandhiji wished the same. The government has introduced CAA to fulfill a promise India made,” he added.
The pact signed in 1950 between then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Pakistan counterpart Liaquat Ali Khan was aimed at allowing refugees to return to dispose of their property, return abducted women and looted property and unrecognise forced conversions.
“It is India’s responsibility to give refuge to those people who have been oppressed due to their faith. These people have faced historical injustice... And to stop this and fulfil our old promise, we have brought the CAA,” Modi said.
Attacking political opponents for opposing the CAA for “votebank politics,” he said, without naming anyone, such people are “negating atrocities.” He said “some are acting to be the voice of Dalits, they are the same people who ignore atrocities against Dalits in Pakistan, they forget that most of persecuted who have left Pakistan and come to India are Dalits,” he said.
“Our Government brought in CAA to give citizenship to such people but some political parties are in competition to do vote bank politics. For whose interest are they working? Why can’t they see atrocities faced by these people in Pakistan. “There are many Dalits (among those who have been oppressed). These people have been oppressed... ,” Modi said.
Modi said a sanitation job advertisement by Pakistani Army stated it was only open to non-Muslims, implying it was for Dalits. He also referred to the Enemy Property Act and said those opposing this legislation are also against the CAA.
After partition, those who left India for Pakistan could still lay claim to their properties. The Enemy Property Act 2016 allows transfer of enemy property from the enemy to other persons.
The Opposition, he also said, is spreading propaganda that the Government’s decisions have “affected my reputation in the entire world”. “These rumor-mongers must understand that I don’t work for my reputation, but for India’s repute,” he said.
Modi also said the problem in Jammu and Kashmir persisted since Independence and some families and political parties kept issues in the region “alive”, as a result of which terrorism thrived there. He said the present Government has been trying to solve decades old problems plaguing the country.