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Muslims Misled into Thinking CAA Aimed at Restricting Their Population, Says Bhagwat in Dussehra Speech

File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

File photo of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.

Mohan Bhagwat said that before discussions could be held on the CAA, the coronavirus outbreak stalled all attempts to resolve the situation.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday claimed that Muslims were misled into thinking the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was aimed at reducing their population. He said that a tense atmosphere was created in the country that threatened communal harmony when “opportunists” took advantage of the delicate situation caused by the “myths” around the Act, and unleashed “organised violence and causing social unrest in the name of protests.”

Speaking during his annual Vijaydashmi address, Bhagwat said that before discussions could be held on the Act, the coronavirus outbreak stalled all attempts to resolve the situation. “Even before something could be thought out and done to resolve the situation, the pandemic crept in and gradually took hold.”

“CAA does not oppose any particular religious community. But those who wanted to oppose this new law misled our Muslim brothers by propagating a false notion that it was aimed at restricting the Muslim population,” Bhagwat said.

He added that the efforts of the “rioters and opportunists to reignite the conflict still continue. It is not making a mark on the collective consciousness or garnering headlines in publications other than the ones that fuel such activities because of the overwhelming discussions of coronavirus in the media.”

Bhagwat said that Citizenship Amendment Act was duly passed in the Parliament as per the due constitutional process, in order to expedite the process of granting citizenship to those who faced communal persecution in India’s neighbouring countries. These countries, he said, had a history of religious persecution against their minorities. Bhagwat said the CAA was not meant to be a tool against any particular community.

“This amendment in the Citizenship Act does not oppose any particular religious community. The constitutional provisions for granting citizenship to foreigners who come to the country continue to be the same,” Bhagwat said in his address.

He also spoke at length about the term “Hindutva”, saying that “One has only to be alert and keep away from the selfish and hateful forces who confuse and instigate people by showing them false dreams of supremacy, encourage radicalism and foster separatism.”

He said that “Hindutva” often became the “first target of castigation by those who instigate intergroup conflicts, who are bent on splitting our country and society.” By presenting as separate, our diversities which are traditionally accepted, respected and are a part of a larger scope of Hindu philosophy in reality, try to convert them into a source of alienation or separatism.”

The RSS chief said Sangh’s definition of Hindu Rashtra “does not have any political or power centered concept in its mind.”

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first published:October 25, 2020, 11:18 IST