CAA made world aware of religious persecution in Pakistan: Modi

Strongly defending the new Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday (January 12), said the dispute that has arisen over the law has made the world aware of the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan.

He, however, said a section of the youth was being ‘misguided’ over CAA, which was actually aimed at giving and not taking away anybody’s citizenship rights.

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“The CAA) will not take away anybody’s citizenship,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

The PM arrived in Kolkata on Saturday on a two-day visit. Addressing a gathering at Belur Math in Howrah district, Modi said whoever had faith in India and believed in its Constitution could become an Indian citizen. “There are a lot of questions among the youth about the new citizenship law, and some are being misled by rumours around it… it is our duty to clear their doubts.”

“I want to make this clear again that the CAA is not about taking away anybody’s citizenship, but about granting citizenship,” he added. Modi said that some people with political interests were deliberately spreading rumours about the new citizenship law.

“After independence, Mahatma Gandhiji and other big leaders of the time all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan,” he recalled.

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Lauding the youth for speaking against religious persecution of minorities, the prime minister said the energy of the country’s youth would form the basis of change in the
21st century. “Youth passion, youth energy is the basis for changing India in this decade of the 21st century. The resolution of the new India has to be fulfilled by you. It is this young thinking that says don’t avoid problems, bump into them, solve them.”

Remembering Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary, he said, “We must always remember Swami Vivekananda ji’s iconic saying ‘give me 100 energetic youth and I shall transform India’. Our energy, and passion to do something, is necessary for change.”

Earlier, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Swami Vivekananda at Belur Math.

Recalling his memories and blessing, Modi said, “The last time I came here, I had taken the blessings of Swami Atmasthanandaji. Today he is not physically present with us. But his work, his path, will always guide us in the form of Ramakrishna Mission.”

Earlier, Modi joined for the morning prayers at Belur Math and later, he meet saints and seers at Belur Math.

(With inputs from agencies)