The nationalist organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has firmly backed the Modi government’s Citizenship Amendment Act and has vehemently opposed opposition parties’ demand for withdrawal of the historic legislation.
According to the Sunday Guardian report, the RSS has communicated its 100% support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on the issue of CAA. The RSS has stated that the CAA is a much-needed step towards uniting the Hindu community and the legislation which was passed by two Houses of Parliament does not discriminate against any religion.
The issue of the CAA was the main focus during the three-day-long RSS informal talks held in Indore from 5 January to 7 January on the “conditions prevailing in the country”. The meet was attended by top RSS functionaries, including its chief Mohan Bhagwat and general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi.
The RSS functionaries also closely analysed the anti-CAA protests that are taking place across the country. According to the RSS, the protests do not represent the sentiments of the majority of Indians, who are in support of the CAA.
As per the Sunday Guardian report, senior RSS functionaries said that the consensus that emerged during this three-day meet was that the reasons being given by the protestors against the CAA do not hold any truth, which was evident in the way that the CAA was branded as anti-Muslim as soon as it was passed by Parliament, even details regarding the implementation had not been announced.
“The whole anti-CAA movement is based on poisonous propaganda that Muslims are being targeted. There is nothing in the Act that proves this false contention. The Opposition parties including private individuals have been successful, to some extent, in spreading this false notion. A lot of discussions happened on the CAA and there is nothing wrong in it and it should be implemented across the country. The government should not retreat because some vested sections are against it,” an RSS leader said to Sunday Guardian. The deliberations were held in detail and with an “open mind” and discussed all the points that the protestors were raising against CAA.
The RSS believes that neither the Jharkhand elections nor the upcoming Delhi elections, were or will be a mandate on the CAA. “State elections are decided on local issues. CAA is a national issue. The win or loss in Delhi will not be the right parameter to gauge the mood of the people on CAA,” he added.
On Sunday, the RSS will take out a massive rally in support of the CAA in Indore, in Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh. It expects close to 2.5 lakh people to attend the rally. The RSS has asked its cadre to start spreading awareness among the people on the ground about the benefits of CAA and not to wait for the Union government’s push for the same.
According to the RSS, there is a lot of misinformation spread with mala fide intentions against the CAA, which is an Act necessary to identify illegal migrants.
“If you negate the argument, which is prima facie false, that CAA is against Indian Muslims, on what grounds will the protesters speak against the CAA? That is what the RSS wants its cadre to do—annihilate this false bogey that the Act is going to target Indian Muslims,” a senior RSS functionary reportedly told the Sunday Guardian.
According to senior RSS leader, a difference of opinions was something that the RSS believed in and it sees the anti-CAA protests in the same light. “Nowhere is it written that people cannot oppose or speak against government policies. We also oppose government policies many times; some of our opposition is taken into consideration, some not. Dissent is one of the main ingredients of democracy,” he said as he dismissed the notion that the anti-CAA sentiment was a “pan India-all pervasive” protest.
The Citizenship Amendment act seeks to give Indian citizenship to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from three neighbouring Islamic countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh after facing religious persecution.
The Act states the refugees of the six communities will be given Indian citizenship after residing in India for five years, instead of earlier requirement of 11 years. The Act also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found as illegal migrants. The cut-off date for granting citizenship will be December 31, 2014.