Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed violent protests across the country against the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as “unfortunate and deeply distressing”. Modi further appealed to people to stay away from rumour-mongering and not let “vested interests” divide the society and create disturbances.
In a series of tweets on December 16th, 2019, Modi emphasized that this is the time to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood. He also assured that the amended citizenship law does not affect any Indian of any religion.
As violence and unrest spread across various states against the CAA bringing normal life to a standstill, Modi tweeted, “I want to unequivocally assure my fellow Indians that CAA does not affect any citizen of India of any religion. No Indian has anything to worry regarding this Act. This Act is only for those who have faced years of persecution outside and have no other place to go except India.”
Modi mentioned that debate, discussion and dissent are essential parts of democracy. “But, never has damage to public property and disturbance of normal life been a part of our ethos,” the Prime Minister added.
He said that the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 was passed by both Houses of Parliament with overwhelming support. “Large number of political parties and MPs supported its passage. This Act illustrates India’s centuries old culture of acceptance, harmony, compassion and brotherhood,” Modi wrote.
After the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on December 10th, 2019, Assam erupted in massive protests. The agitators engaged in pitched battles with the security personnel in almost every district of the state with Guwahati being the epicentre, forcing the administration to impose curfew and shutdown internet services.
The passage of the law triggered violent protests in Meghalaya and Tripura too.
Modi had also tweeted in Assamese on December 12th, 2019, a day after the contentious law was passed by Upper House, to assure the people of Assam that they have nothing to worry about the amendment act. However, he was trolled as the Congress and netizens “reminded” him that there is no internet in Assam.
Modi’s December 16th, 2019 tweet comes amid spiralling violent protests across the country, including premier educational campuses against the new citizenship law.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal too appealed the people of the state to maintain peace. He also urged the people to not get “misled” by rumours about the citizenship law.
Photo credit: Narendra Modi/Facebook