Ever since the Modi government passed the historic Citizenship Amendment Act to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities of three neighbouring countries, the Congress party has indulged in a misinformation campaign to discredit the government’s initiative.
In a similar act, Senior Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Saturday resorted to spreading half-truths to mislead public on the provisions of Citizenship Amendment Act.
Taking to Twitter, the Congress MP posted an image of a protestor holding a poster, who is apparently asking a few questions to the Modi government. However, the questions posed by the so-called protestor, which perhaps even Shashi Tharoor also concurs with, do not literally question the government but peddles misinformation regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act under the guise of asking ‘tough’ questions to the establishment.
Very good questions by this protestor. Does the Government have any answers? pic.twitter.com/1RLhzIjMRC
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) January 11, 2020
If someone takes a careful look at the poster of the protestor, the questions being asked to the government has itself been based out of wrong facts. By resorting to false facts, the protestor is not only misleading public but also creating a panic among the citizens.
Shashi Tharoor, being an elected representative of the Parliament, adds more fuel to the fire by posting such misleading image on his social media platform to spread more propaganda instead of reprimanding the young man for spreading propaganda.
The protestor poses a set of questions to the Modi government like if Voter ID was not a proof a Citizenship, how was BJP in power? Secondly, he asks if Aadhaar is not proof citizenship, why was it linked to Bank accounts and lastly, if PAN card isn’t a proof for Citizenship, why it is being used by the government to collect Income Tax.
It is rather laughable to see such posters being paraded at anti-CAA rallies as there aren’t any provisions in the entire legislation that seek Indian citizens to prove their citizenship. It is important to note that the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the Parliament of India to grant citizenship to those persecuted religious minorities from three neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
In fact, there are no provisions in the entire legislation which either demands any Indian to submit their documents. Addition to this, the objective of the legislation is to grant citizenship to persecuted people and not to take away the citizenship of any particular group of Indian citizens, especially Muslims.
To answer senior Congress leader’s questions, the voter ID card is issued by Election Commission of India. Only those who are above the age of 18 years are eligible to get voter ID. Hence, a voter ID alone cannot be considered comprehensive proof of citizenship. And since he asked, BJP is in power because majority of Indians above the age of 18 years voted for it. For someone who has won his 3rd term as Member of Parliament, surely would know how the election process works.
Further, Aadhaar Card is given every resident of the country and not to citizens only. Secondly, it is linked to bank accounts in a bid to eliminate financial frauds. Moreover, linking Aadhaar to banks allows people who do not have PAN to open a bank account under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and that way, the subsidies meant for the poor can directly go to the bank accounts, thereby getting rid of middlemen.
And to answer his third question, why PAN is linked to income tax returns, well, even non-resident Indians as well as foreigners have to pay income tax if they fall in tax paying bracket. If income is generated in India, one needs to pay income tax on it as per the Income Tax Act, 1961, as amended from time to time. As a lawmaker himself, who was once a junior minister serving the government of India, one would expect he’d know the basics of how things work in India.