HYDERABAD — Swaraj India president and activist Yogendra Yadav said the BJP was trying to ensure a “Hindu Israel, a Hindu Pakistan” in the name of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
He was speaking at the interactive session on ‘Citizenship Constitutionality and Social Justice: CAA-NRC-NPR and beyond’ in Hyderabad on Friday.
Mr Yadav further said, “After the successful demonstration of democracy and the precedent of unity in diversity for 70 years and at a time when Europe and the rest of the universe are willing to accept our idea, we are giving the impression that there is a fault in our model and leaving it for a model which was discredited in Europe.”
He said even if the CAA is not enforced against a single citizen and no one looses their citizenship, it is still dangerous because for the first time in history citizenship is being linked with religion.
“The CAA is a signalling device which prevents Muslims from seeking shelter in India. Israel awards citizenship to anyone if he is a Jew, on the same lines we are trying to develop India as Hindu Israel and Hindu Pakistan,” he said.
He said Swami Vivekananda had in his famous speech in Chicago said he was proud to be an Indian because the nation had given shelter to anyone who had sought refuge from any religion or nationality. However, the CAA says it will offer refuge but before that the nationality and religion of the applicant will be checked.
Yadav said that the Centre will not step back as the CAA has been notified on January 10 and the process of National Population Register has started. “We too cannot go back. It is about a matter of safeguarding the very soul and idea of India. We have to recreate the Idea of India and we definitely will, but we will have to struggle for a long time.”
He said what had begun as a protest to oppose the CAA had now become a movement for the soul of India, a movement that reaffirms the idea of India.
We call it ‘Bharat Jodo Andolan’ on the lines of ‘Bharat Chodo Andolan’ (Quit India movement against the British). If they will continue to divide and break India, we will continue to wage a battle to ensure India will remain united,” Yadav said.
Yadav contended that the government is bent on creating citizenship registers while ignoring issues like unemployment.
“Make National Register of Unemployed and National Register of Farmers first so that you can help them. But the government does not want that.”
Speaking at the event, P Shankar from Dalit Bahujan Front (DBF) said, “There are many in Telangana who don’t have a date of birth certificate. Even I don’t have one. The current government is basically turning the whole country into a detention centre.”
Asma Rasheed, faculty at English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) also reportedly spoke in the session, where the preamble of the Indian Constitution was readout.