Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday sensationally said that refugees of all other faiths except Muslim will be granted Indian citizenship to ensure that they don’t run the risk of being forced to leave India after the NRC rollout.
Speaking at an event in Kolkata, Shah said, “People are being misled in Bengal. I have come here to assure them today…Mamata (Banerjee) di is saying that the lakhs of Hindu refugees will have to leave West Bengal. Friends, there cannot be a bigger lie than this. Today, I have come to reassure Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain and Christian refugees, particularly Hindu refugees that the Indian government will not force them to leave India.”
Shah said that before the NRC is rolled out in Bengal, his government at the Centre will enact Citizenship Amendment Bill to grant refugees of all faiths except Muslim Indian citizenship. He said, “What’s this CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill)? This CAB means that all Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain and Christian refugees will be granted Indian citizenship forever.”
His comments evoked angry reactions on social media, where users concluded that the BJP’s mask was finally off and the party had become brazen in its hatred for Muslims. Journalist and founder of Janta Ka Reporter, Rifat Jawaid, tweeted, “If anyone ever needed an evidence to establish a parallel with Hitler’s Germany and Modi’s India! Never expected that Indian ministers will ever be so blatant with bigotry. Meanwhile, @BillGates and @melindagates can work on a new award to felicitate India’s Home Minister.” Rifat was referring to the Gates Foundation’s decision to honour Prime Minister Narendra Modi despite hundreds of thousands of people singning an online petition against their decision.
If anyone ever needed an evidence to establish a parallel with Hitler’s Germany and Modi’s India! Never expected that Indian ministers will ever be so blatant with bigotry. Meanwhile, @BillGates and @melindagates can work on a new award to felicitate India’s Home Minister. https://t.co/75iKj16Lgk
— Rifat Jawaid (@RifatJawaid) October 1, 2019
Other social media users including journalists too reacted with utter disbelief.
In Bengal, @AmitShah says we will first bring citizenship amendment act and then do the NRC.. in Assam, the BJP Govt has done just the opposite. Different strokes for different folks/states!Vote bank politics anyone?!
— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) October 1, 2019
I have never seen someone shameless and communal like @AmitShah. Our constitution treats everyone equally and this country runs on the guidelines of the constitution. If infiltrator is threat then it is a threat irrespective of religion. Throw everyone out. #GoBackAmitShah #NRC
— BeingAmrit19 (@beingamrit_19) October 1, 2019
@mygovindia @AmitShah sir, what was the need to do Assam NRC if you’d to implement CAB? Can you do a 1971 cut-off in Bengal and elsewhere? If not, then what good is the Assam NRC for? In Assam u reject it, in Bengal u want it. What’s happening! #NRC https://t.co/04Wgwz3tI0
— Deepankar🇮🇳 (@deepch_) October 1, 2019
The BJP has vowed to form its government in Bengal. Analysts feel that the only way the saffron party can realistically form its government in a state with a significantly large Muslim population is by first disenfranchising them in the guise of NRC, which has rendered more than 19 lakh people stateless in Assam.