'Centre following age-old tradition in case of CAA'

'Centre following age-old tradition in case of CAA'

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Saturday said the Centre has followed an age-old Indian tradition of offering shelter to persecuted religious minorities by passing the amendment to the Citizenship Act and asked youths to do their bit to clear people's doubts about the new law.

In his inaugural speech for the two-day Uttarakhand Young Leaders Conclave here, he said India had given shelter to the Jews, the Parsis and the Tibetans.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly made it clear that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is not meant to strip any community members of their citizenship. It only aims to grant citizenship to persecuted religious minorities which have taken shelter in the country, Rawat said.

"A conspiracy to spread misinformation about CAA is underway across the country. Educated young people like you should come forward to educate people and dispel their misapprehension about it," the chief minister said.

"By passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, the Central government has only followed an age-old Indian tradition of offering shelter to persecuted religious minorities," he added.

The Uttarakhand Young Leaders Conclave was being held on the occasion of the 157th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda which falls tomorrow, the chief minister said.

Referring to Swami Vivekananda's speech at World's Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893, where he had begun his address with "Sisters and brothers of America", Rawat said, "This showed Swami Vivekananda's inclusive philosophy which also forms the core of the Indian ethos."

"We now talk about the concept of the global village. India introduced the world to the philosophy of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the world is one family) centuries ago," he said and asked the participants at the conclave to take pride in their glorious traditions. 

Noting that 30 per cent of the world's young population lives in this country, the Uttarakhand chief minister said India is in a position to show the way to the rest of the world.

"The young constitute the largest section of our population and it is our biggest strength. We have to make the most of this advantage to be in the leading position," he said.

The footsteps of the approaching times when India is set to play a much bigger role in international politics have already made themselves audible, Rawat said and claimed that Iran has expressed its desire to have India mediate in its current standoff with the US.

The young leaders' conclave which will have several interactive sessions including one with the chief minister to understand their aspirations and take their suggestions on the development of the state. 

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