Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his speech at the rally at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on Sunday, spoke out against the opposition propaganda on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). He reiterated that Indian Muslims had nothing to fear from the two as they did not even apply to them in the first place. He also slammed the ‘Urban Naxals’ and the opposition parties for creating hysteria around the matter and misleading the Muslim community in the country.
On the NRC, the Prime Minister said, “I want to tell the 130 crore people of India that ever since my government came to power in 2014… from then until now… there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere… we only had to implement it in Assam to follow Supreme Court directives.” Narendra Modi’s words are being used to peddle the narrative that he has contradicted Home Minister Amit Shah.
An India Today report said, “This statement categorically negates what Amit Shah has been saying in the last two years-the latest on December 17 at Agenda Aaj Tak-that a nationwide NRC will be prepared soon.” However, nothing could be further from the truth. As appears obvious, the Prime Minister has only asserted that the government has held no discussions on the NRC, he did not deny the government’s intention to implement the NRC.
Amit Shah has made it clear on several occasions in the past that the government is intent upon completing the process of NRC. On the 10th of December, in the Parliament, the Home Minister declared that the government will conduct a nationwide NRC. However, even he never said that there were any formal discussions on the NRC at the government level or that any draft proposal had been finalized. During his interview with Times Now recently, Amit Shah again said that the NRC is something that hasn’t even begun.
Tune in to TIMES NOW to watch the full interview. pic.twitter.com/mumBIu6wwM
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) December 22, 2019
On the 17th of December, Amit Shah, speaking at Times Network India Economic Conclave, said, “An exercise like NRC cannot be done in secrecy. We have not decided yet and these decisions cannot be taken by me alone. They need Cabinet approvals.” Thus, quite clearly, even Amit Shah said that no decisions had been reached on the NRC at all.
Some other people have claimed that Narendra Modi was backtracking on the NRC given that even President Kovind had spoken of the NRC in the past. The President had said on the 20th of June, while addressing the newly elected MPs, “Illegal infiltrators pose a major threat to our internal security. This is leading to a social imbalance in many parts of the country, as well as putting huge pressure on limited livelihood opportunities. My government has decided to implement the process of National Register of Citizens on priority basis in areas affected by infiltration. Security along the border will be further strengthened to prevent infiltration.”
A deliberate narrative is being peddled that the NDA government is backtracking from its promise of a countrywide NRC. In reality, there has been no such thing at all. Narendra Modi never said that NRC was off the shelf, he only said that no discussions had occurred at the government level. Amit Shah has regularly stated that the NRC will be implemented across the country but he never said that any formal discussions had begun on the matter. President Kovind, again, had again stated that the government was keen to implement the matter.
Thus, in short, Amit Shah said that the NRC will be implemented, Narendra Modi said that no formal discussions had occurred yet and the President said that the Indian government is keen on implementing it. There is no contradiction at all between the stands of the three gentlemen. However, the mainstream media and the opposition parties are desperate to find one. There’s a good reason for this.
Liberals have realized that no citizen is buying the narrative that these are spontaneous protests against the NRC and CAA or that these anti-CAA protests are even peaceful. Liberals were desperate for a safe exit from these protests as they were aware that they have been thoroughly exposed in the entire matter. They also realized that the protests were Khilafat 2.0 and they did not want to associate themselves with them in any manner.
At the same time, the liberals are too arrogant to admit a mistake and were searching for a face-saver by which they could claim victory and move on. Also, Christmas and New Year is around the corner. So, they didn’t want to be accused of being hypocrites while engaging in festivities during the week. Thus, it was extremely necessary for them to claim victory so that they could make a safe exit from the protests given the fact that they were so much invested in them.
In the event that no such face-saver came from the government, the liberals decided to invent one out of thin air to make their escape. And thus, we have arrived at a situation where it is being claimed that Narendra Modi contradicted Home Minister Amit Shah and the government was backtracking on the NRC even though nothing remotely close to it had actually happened.