New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday alleged that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) exercise are part of the RSS-BJP plan to push for a Hindu Rashtra even as the country’s economy is sinking.
“The NRC-CAA-NPR exercise is part of the RSS-BJP plan to push its divisive agenda of a Hindu Rashtra. The Constitution of India embodies the values of equality, equal protection of the laws, secularism, humanism and constitutional morality. In order to protect these values, every patriotic Indian has the duty to fight the pernicious doctrine of Hindu Rashtra,” he said in a statement.
The former Finance Minister praised the students for being at forefront of the democratic agitation
“We are gratified that students and youth are in the forefront of the protests. It lifts our spirits and aspirations when we see thousands of young men and women stand up for liberty, equality, equal protection of the laws, pluralism, secularism and Constitutional morality”, he said.
He alleged that the CAA is patently discriminatory, where, while three neighbouring countries have been included, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Bhutan have been excluded.
He also questioned why Muslims have been excluded in the CAA when the most persecuted minorities in South Asia include the Tamils of Sri Lanka (both Hindu and Muslim), the Rohingyas of Myanmar, the Ahmadiyyas, Shias, Balochis and Sindhis of Pakistan, the Hazaras of Afghanistan and the Christians of Bhutan.
“We are not opposed to granting refuge and eventually citizenship to any person included under the CAA. Our concerns arise regarding the persons excluded under the CAA,” Chidambaram said.
“The implementation of both NRC and CAA, the persons who will be directly affected will be the Muslims of India. All other religious groups, even if excluded under NRC, will be included under CAA. Only the Muslims will be identified as illegal migrants under NRC and excluded under CAA”, he added.
He also criticised the move to add more columns to the NPR.