Some political parties and people with ”narrow political interests” are spreading misinformation in a particular section of the society regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and now the decision to update the National Population Register (NPR). They are trying to hide the ”mountain of truth” by ”bushes of lies”.
If we look at the performance of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from 2014, we can say that the present rule has been committed to inclusive empowerment and prosperity and development without discrimination.
Our government provided two crore houses to poor, 31 per cent beneficiaries are from minority community besides providing electricity to six lakh villages that cover more than 39 per cent minority community villages. For last 70 years, minorities, especially Muslims, had been left far behind in terms of economic and educational development. This is the reason that they are being benefited the most from welfare schemes of the Modi Government.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is to provide citizenship to minorities facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on their request. As far as giving Indian citizenship to any Muslim from other countries is concerned, a related provision is already there in the Indian Citizenship Act 1955.
Any foreign national, including Muslims, from other countries, can apply and take Indian citizenship under Section 5. During the last five years, the government has provided Indian citizenship to more than 500 Muslims from other countries.
Minorities’ population in Pakistan, which was about 24 per cent of the total population during the partition, has now been reduced to just 2 per cent due to atrocities and genocide in that country. But earlier Indian governments did not take any steps in this regard. Those who took shelter here, had been facing the menace of terrorism and hardship of laws in India.
The government has brought the CAB to provide ”humanitarian dignity” to those facing ”inhuman humiliation” in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The Bill has nothing to do with any Indian Muslims.
While only 90 districts of the country had been identified for minority communities’ development during the UPA government; the current government has expanded development programmes in 308 districts and 1300 blocks. Infrastructure for education is being constructed on war-footing and several facilities have been developed in the last five years.
”While Pakistan has become a hell for minorities, India is a heaven for them”. This reality has become as unacceptable for some divisive forces who are involved in conspiracy to weaken our strength of ”unity in diversity”.
The NRC process started in Assam in 1951, then the State witnessed agitations and demand to accelerate NRC process in the 1970s. Then in 2013, the Supreme Court ordered updating the NRC. The process is limited to Assam is still going on. A draft list was published on 31 August, 2019.
Those people who did not find their names included are being helped by the government through service centres, tribunals. As far as implementation of NRC in other parts of the country is concerned, there is no talk at any level regarding it.
Now, some people are creating confusion even on NPR and Census. Census and NPR is a regular exercise. The people of the country should understand that those defeated in the democracy are now trying to ”hijack Loktantra (democracy) through Gundatantra” (anarchy).
Each and every section of the society is an equal partner of India’s development and prosperity. It is our ”national duty” to ensure that this ”Gang of Evils of Misinformation” doesn’t succeed in their nefarious design to weaken our strength of ‘Unity in Diversity’.
(The writer Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is Union Minister of Minority Affairs)