New Delhi: RSS leader Indresh Kumar Thursday said those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 were “misled by the devil”.
Kumar was speaking at an event organised by the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), an RSS-arm that he heads, in Delhi to drum up support for the CAA. The MRM organised an ‘ulema conference’ featuring several Muslim clergymen supporting the Act.
Kumar, who headed the conference, said, “The CAA won’t be amended…and it would certainly not be scrapped. Those who are protesting against it have been influenced by the Satan.”
Suhaib Qasmi, the national president of Jamaat Ulema-e-Hind, along with Kaukab Mujtaba of the same organisation shared the stage with Kumar.
Some of the other Muslim clergymen who took part in the event included Muhammad Hamidullah, Irfan Kachausvi and Haji Islamabad. All of them are from different parts of Uttar Pradesh.
Speaking to ThePrint, Kumar said, “In the next five months, the MRM will hold meetings like these in nearly 2,000 places across the country” as part of its nationwide pro-CAA outreach.
When asked about the anti-CAA protests, Kumar said many Muslims taking part in these demonstrations were acting out of fear. “I will only tell those Muslims to not let anyone ruin their future by provocation, or let fear get to them.”
‘Congress gave birth to Pakistan and Bangladesh’
Speaking at the event, Kumar also blamed the Congress for the Partition of India in 1947 and “implementing the two-nation theory” — which supported the proposal that Muslims and non-Muslims should be two separate nations.
“People debate over who was the original mind behind the two-nation theory. But whoever it may have been, it is the Congress party which implemented it. Pakistan and Bangladesh were born out of Congress’ womb,” he said.
Addressing the crowd of Muslim men and women at the event, Kumar said the Congress did not want people from the community to enter mainstream society. “Congress…kept you unemployed and marginalised for 70 years. Why would you want to get influenced by these devils yet again?”
The RSS leader also said Bangladeshi immigrants were taking away the jobs of local youth, including Muslim citizens.
“Of the 3,000 rickshaw pullers in Sadar Bazar, only 250 would be Indians — the rest are all Bangladeshis. Why should a Muhammad from Bangladesh get a job over a Muhammad from India?” he asked the audience.
Citizenship Act protesters shout slogans
The event also saw a group of anti-CAA protesters raising slogans such as “Vande Mataram” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
Kumar assured the demonstrators that CAA won’t take away anyone’s citizenship. “It is only guaranteeing citizenship to everyone who was in this country before 2014.”
Shaheen Parvez, the national convenor of the women’s wing of MRM, told ThePrint, “Whenever there are attempts to do good, some people will try to cause disruption.”
The CAA seeks to ease citizenship to Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. There have been widespread protests against the Act which has been called anti-Muslim and discriminatory in nature.
“The three countries have Muslims in the majority. Shouldn’t India help the minorities of those countries? Muslims, including the Rohingya Muslims, have 52 countries to go to. Hindus only have India,” Kumar added.
He, however, said there might not be a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the country. “If NRC is an issue, we won’t do a nationwide register. It was anyway meant primarily for the Northeastern states.”
When asked about the persecution of Ahmadiyas and Rohingya Muslims in Pakistan and Myanmar, respectively, Kumar only said, “Muslims aren’t being persecuted in those countries…so we shouldn’t be accused of practicing any discrimination in the CAA.”
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.