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Citizenship law precursor to BJP declaring India a Hindu rashtra, says Manish Tewari 

Speaking at Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh, Congress MP Manish Tewari also said it is every country’s duty to give shelter to refugees without religious bias.

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Chandigarh: Congress MP from Anandpur Sahib, Punjab, Manish Tewari Saturday said the “Citizenship Amendment Act could be the precursor to the BJP-led central government declaring India a Hindu rashtra”.

“It seems only a matter of time and things are building up to it,” Tewari said, while answering a query after his address at the ongoing Military Literature Festival in Chandigarh. The three-day festival, organised by the Punjab government, began Friday.

The Act came in for severe criticism at the session on ‘Ek Aur Satyagraha Bharat Ki Aatma Ke Liye’.

Tewari said that in accordance with international laws, it is every country’s duty to give shelter to refugees without any religious bias as there is a difference between refugees and illegal immigrants.

Why a new Act to grant citizenship, asks Ravish Kumar

Addressing the session, renowned journalist Ravish Kumar said the BJP has not been able to explain why there was a need for a new Act when the matter of citizenship was already settled by an older Act.

He said the reason why the BJP is being criticised is because the Act uses religion as a deciding factor to grant citizenship.

“Was there really a need to refer to religions in the Act,” he asked, adding that India as a nation belongs to all its citizens and “dissent is not disloyalty to the government”.

Kumar, a journalist with NDTV India, further said the BJP has started a new trend of sending neither partymen or spokespersons to defend their policies as the task has now been relegated to “thinkers”. 

Also read: UK, US, Canada warn citizens against travelling in NE amid Citizenship Act protests

‘Indira Gandhi sowed seeds of hypernationalism’

Defending the Act, Dr Geeta Bhatt, member of the academic council of Delhi University, said the law had nothing to do with religion but was only done to undo a historical wrong. She said that a fake narrative was being generated that India was becoming a “theocratic” state.

In a separate session on ‘Jingoism and Hyper-Nationalism — An Indian Perspective’, RSS ideologue Desh Ratan Nigam said the “Indian Constitution was never meant to be secular” and that the word ‘secular’ was a “back-door entry into the Constitution during the Emergency”.

The Constitution originally was not supposed to be secular and it was only with 42nd Amendment in 1976, the word ‘secular’ was inserted, Nigam said. “Original draft of the Constitution had references to Ram, Sita and Guru Nanak,” he added.

Talking about hyper-nationalism, for which the BJP is blamed, Nigam said the seeds for the idea of hyper-nationalism were “sown” by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

He claimed that it was Gandhi, who had introduced the idea of nationalism by incorporating Article 51A in the Constitution.

Nigam also added that there is no concept of hyper-nationalism.

“The word is ‘Bharatiyata’, which encompasses all dimensions of cultural beliefs where no-one is superior and all are equal. Jingoism and hyper-nationalism are Western concepts and used to make us feel bad about taking pride in our history and heritage,” he said.

‘India will endure onslaught by communal forces’

Addressing the session on hyper-nationalism, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra said Indian ethos is all about moderation and will certainly endure the present onslaught by communal forces.

“Any nationalism, which teaches me to treat my nation above God, is not acceptable to me,” she said, adding that aggressive dependence on religion demonstrates abject failure of the ruling party on all major fronts. 

She further said the BJP-led NDA was creating an “imagined dark force or enemy” to justify its actions, adding that it will take some time before people realise what was happening.

Also read: Jamia cancels exams, declares holiday until 5 January over citizenship law protests


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  1. The Indian liberal/secular cabal deliberately ignores those facts of history which are an inconvenience for it. Any historical event or incident which does not fit into its narrative of India (and Indian history/culture/heritage) and its political agenda is carefully brushed under the carpet.
    The liberal/secular political leaders like Kapil Sibal, Asaduddin Owaisi, Mamata Banerjee and others are repeatedly raising the issue of persecution of Ahmaddiya and Shia Muslims in Pakistan. Not for once do they acknowledge the “stellar” role played by these communities in the creation of Pakistan. The Ahmaddiya and the Shia Muslim communities were the ones which took the lead in the Pakistan Movement. Lest we forget, Mr. MA Jinnah, the beloved Quaid-e-Azam of Pakistan, was a Shia Muslim. Muhammad Zafarullah Khan, the undisputed leader of the Ahmaddiya community in pre-partition India, was one of the chief proponents of the two nation theory and is a founding father of Pakistan. He was the first Foreign Minister of Pakistan.
    If today they find themselves at the receiving end of violence, persecution and discrimination at the hands of Pakistani society/state, is it India’s responsibility to take them in and look after them?
    Its just a case of chickens finally coming home to roost. Poetic justice. They are reaping what they helped sow.

  2. Once Modi Shah get UCC and removal of the word ‘secular’ from the constitution along with printing of revised Constitution as per 1950 edition format done, the BJP agenda will be fulfilled. There is nothing more to achieve for them. Modi doesnot care about economic growth etc, as he is giving full support to the poor through his various schemes which are implemented efficiently. So if Congress is really serious beyond just talking and posturing, it should ready itself for this upcoming battle in the next session of the Parliament. Ram Mandi is settled; Art 370 is done and situation is coming under control and with winter setting in, Modi will respite for a few months from terrorists across the border in Kashmir; Triple Talaq is done and now CAB is done.
    Congress should gather all the opposition parties and present a united front. Ideally leadership should be passed to Mamata rather than Rahul, who can take Modi Shah head on and has a much better appeal and credibility than Rahul.

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