'CAA opposed to Vivekananda's idea of inclusiveness'

'CAA opposed to Vivekananda's idea of inclusiveness'

Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav on Monday said Swami Vivekananda had talked of religious and social inclusiveness, which the Citizenship (Amendment) Act brought by the Narendra Modi government is diagonally opposite to.

Yadav said he would not question the propriety of the prime minister making a speech from Belur Math, the headquarter of Ramakrishna Mission set up by Vivekananda.

"Swami Vivekananda would have been ashamed of this India that Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks to represent after the CAA," he said during an interaction with students of the Jadavpur University in its main campus here.

He told the students that the monk had in his famous speech in Chicago said he was proud to be an Indian because the nation had given shelter to anyone who had sought shelter or refuge from any religion or nationality on the earth.

"The CAA says it will offer refuge, but before that we (the government) will check your nationality, your religion; these are precisely the two things that Swami Vivekananda spoke against," Yadav said.

Stating that the country has seen one month of unprecedented protests since President Ram Nath Kovind signed the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 12, the Swaraj India claimed that it has now become a nationwide movement.

"What began to oppose the CAA, has now become a movement for the soul of India, a movement to demand and reaffirm the idea of India," he said.

Yadav said he is happy that the PM has "admitted" that rumours and falsehoods are being spread and that people are being misled, adding that people of the country believe in the truth.

The Prime Minister on Sunday said in his speech at Belur Math that the CAA is not about taking away citizenship, it is about giving one.

Invoking the National Youth Day which marks Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary, he said, "I would like to tell this to the youth of India, West Bengal, North East that this is not an overnight law for giving citizenship.

"We must all know that any person of any religion from any country of the world, theist or atheist, who believes in India and its Constitution, can apply for Indian citizenship through due process. There's no problem in that," the PM said on Sunday.

Speaking to the gathering, former JNU student leader Umar Khalid claimed that through NRC, the Modi government wants to divide West Bengal again, which suffered the pangs of division in 1947.

"The most disastrous effect of NRC will be in Bengal" where millions of people have taken refuge over decades from erstwhile East Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh, he said.

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