By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Dec 30 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party has continued to attack Congress for its dissent to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Union Minister Jitendra Singh on Monday hit out against the party for a deliberate attempt to create confusion on the issue despite the fact that "their veterans" had acknowledged the need for citizenship for Hindu refugees.
"Tragedy with the Congress party is that it doesn't read its own history. Doesn't even read the statements given by some of its own leaders or self-proclaimed icons, the party claims to be icons, like Nehru, it is we who have read more of what was said and written by the Congress. Having said, the contemporary leadership in Congress also...there has been a stand on similar lines till as late as 2013," Singh told ANI.
He said it was appalling that the narrative built by the Congress party is in total contradiction to the position taken by various successive Congress governments right from 1947.
The CAA seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who entered the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014.
"Nehru said and I quote him, 'You must make a difference between Hindu refugees and Muslim immigrants. The country must take responsibility of these refugees.' In other words, none less than former prime minister Nehru without using so many words designated Hindus as refugees and Muslims as immigrants which is exactly the spirit taken by CAA," he pointed out.
"Nehru goes on to say that it is the duty of India to be concerned about refugees. This would mean Hindus refugees," he added.
The minister pointed out that since Pakistan was a proclaimed Islamic State, Muslims in that nation could only be seen as immigrants and Hindus had to be considered as refugees.
"We know Nehru Liyaqat Ali Khan pact was signed by in April in 1950 but this was inspired by the realisation on the Indian side that minorities in Pakistan were not being treated well. The then PM Nehru wrote to the then Assam chief minister Gopinath Bordoloi, I have a copy of that, wherein letter dated May 18, 1949," he pointed out.
"A year later when the pact was signed, Indian side respected the pact signed by two countries to look after their minorities but unfortunately Pakistan did not live up to that commitment. Liyaqat did not survive for long. This realisation that Pakistan will not live up to the committee had begun to dawn up in just a few months of signing the pact," he said.
The Minister also pointed out another instance in November 1950, Nehru while making a statement in Parliament said, "There is no doubt of course that the displaced persons who have come to India are bound to have the citizenship. The law is inadequate in this respect and this should be changed. Those who have been thrown out of the country needs to given citizenship."
The minister pointed out that similar support was given by Congress to refugees in 1963 in a reply by deputy foreign minister MoE Dinesh Singh, he said, "Reasons given by them those who have come ( the refugees) for migrating is sense of insecurity, fear of personal molestation and economic depression in East Pakistan". Then prime minister Nehru intervenes, " The fact appears to be that ever since some illegal immigrants into the came into Assam from East Pakistan and thrown out by the government of Assam, the people in those areas ( East Pakistan), the authorities there have reacted by bringing on great pressure on some Hindus."
"The authorities in East Pakistan exerted pressure on Hindus who were living there is what Nehru stated 70 years ago. This was the feeling (of Hindus persecuted) lurking in the then Congress government. The present Modi government has shown the courage of conviction to carry this forward," the minister stated.
"As right-thinking citizens, the responsibility of Congress party to come forward and acknowledge the CAA for the spirit for which it had being brought in rather than being critical for sake of being critical," he said.
He pointed out that even NPR was brought in by Congress party and P Chidambaram as home minister, in Parliament had said and I quote the operational part, "NPR is mandatory. NPR could be the basis of NRC. PM Modi said that NRC is yet to be discussed and nothing to do with NRC and CAA. However, it was Chidambaram who said they are interlinked. Then, when the issue of biometric and parents came, Chidambaram said he would not delve into details."
"At the conclusion, the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh assured the house and I quote, "I am aware of the views of members of all sections. I assure the cabinet will take a decision."I don't know what Congress is agitating against. Possibly they are trying to manufacture disinformation and find a virtue out of it which is not going to happen," he said. (ANI)
Congress doesn't read what icons like Nehru had said: Jitendra Singh
Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Dec 30, 2019 17:32 IST
By Pragya Kaushika