Gaya (Bihar): The countrywide anti-CAA protests are a “conspiracy” hatched from afar by those resentful of a united and grand India and these are being aided by a “crooked” opposition, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath alleged here on Tuesday.
Addressing a rally organized by the BJP in support of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, which was passed less than two months ago, the firebrand BJP leader charged that those opposing the legislation were committing the “paap” (sin) of working against national interests.
Sushil Kumar Modi (Bihar Deputy CM) and Sanjay Jaiswal (state BJP chief) have very well articulated how the CAA is about granting citizenship to persecuted refugees and not about taking it away from anybody, he said.
“For taking such a step, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah deserve acclaim. Instead they are being attacked”, Yogi lamented.
“Protests are taking place across the country and a ‘kutil’ (crooked) opposition is adding fuel to the fire. But the people of the country need to understand that it is a conspiracy hatched from afar.
“The strings are being pulled by those who are resentful of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat’ (united India, grand India) which is becoming a reality under Modi”, he claimed.
Seeking to underscore that the Modi government did not discriminate against people on the basis of their religious identity, Yogi asked so many people have benefitted from the welfare schemes like Ujjwala Yojana and the Ayushman Bharat Yojana.
“Was anybody asked, before being included as a beneficiary, as to what is his or her religion or caste?”, he remarked.
But those feeling threatened by the new India keep looking for an opportunity to thwart Modis efforts to build Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat, he said.
“This new India does not cower, like the Congress did, before Pakistans atomic power.
“The neighboring country is today fearful that it may end up losing even the PoK, after the Article 370, which Jawaharlal Nehru wrongly introduced, was abrogated”, the UP CM said evoking wild applause.
The monk-turned-politician, who also heads the Gorakhnath Temple, began his speech recalling his spiritual ancestors deep links with Gaya and the ancient links between eastern UP and this central Bihar town pointing out that Lord Buddha came from Kapilavastu situated in Siddharthnagar district in the adjoining state and attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
In the town after which a reserved Lok Sabha constituency is also named, Yogi appealed to Dalits reverence for B R Ambedkar.
“The revolutionary-turned-freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo had said that the biggest virtue, in current times is to work for national interest and the biggest sin is to work against it. The opposition is committing the paap (sin). To understand this you should take the contrasting examples of Ambedkar and Jogendra Nath Mandal”, Yogi said.
“Ambedkar remained loyal to his country while Mandal fell for Jinnahs designs, helped the creation of Pakistan and became a minister in that country.
“While Ambedkar is a revered figure, Mandal felt so stifled in Pakistan that within a decade he resigned and came to Kolkata where he spent his last years living a life of anonymity. Let it be known to all whoever works against national interests shall be condemned to a similar fate”, he added.
He said while coming to the venue he was bemused to see posters put up on the walls by the RJD-Congress combine opposing CAA in the name of the Constitution.
“A party which had strangled the Constitution by imposing the Emergency has the audacity to do so”, Yogi said taking a swipe at the grand old party.
The Congress always surrendered before those who ran their “shops of fatwas” and expected the country to be run as per their decrees and not the Constitution. They never cared for the humiliation faced by Muslim women because of triple talaq and it required a Narendra Modi to illegalize this practice, he said.
“Congress, similarly, played a scare-monger on Ram temple issue, claiming blood will be spilled on the streets if the matter was taken to its logical conclusion. Now it has been settled once and for all and on this auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti I declare that Ayodhya in my state will soon be ready with a Ram Mandir”, he added.
Before ending his speech, Yogi said he would like to underscore the need for the society at large to be on guard against “deplorable attempts” (kutsit cheshtaein) to mislead the nation on CAA.
He exhorted those gathered at the programme to fan out and tell the people that this law is about granting citizenship and not taking it away and that it has nothing to do with NRC. NRC was an exercise that took place in Assam, upon the Supreme Courts direction, the UP CM added.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Tejashwi Yadav is scheduled to attend a dharna against CAA in the evening here at Shanti Bagh, barely a km away from Gandhi Maidanm, the venue of Yogi’s function.
As part of the BJP’s nationwide pro-CAA campaign, party president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to address a rally in Vaishali on coming Thursday.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.