Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the citizenship amendment law (CAA) was brought to “correct a historical injustice, fulfil promise to minorities in neighbouring nations”. Speaking at a rally of the National Cadet Corps in Delhi, he spoke of the injustices made during partition, when a “line was drawn across a piece of paper”.
“When the nation attained independence, 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 fulfil a promise India made,” he said.
Attacking political opponents who are opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, he said they are motivated by “votebank politics”.
“Why don’t they notice atrocities, why are they negating atrocities, they need to respond. 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.
The opposition, he added, is “spreading propaganda that the decisions our government has taken 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, adding, “People who talk about the constitution had once thrown it in the bin”.
His words come in the backdrop of the six resolutions moved in the parliament of the European Union on the Citizenship Amendment Act, which expresses concern that it would create the “largest statelessness crisis in the world”. India has also slipped 10 spots in the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, which cited the citizenship law and the five-month-long restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir.
The opposition has accused the government of undermining India’s reputation across the world.