Hindu, Mussalman and Pakistan—the only words this Government knows: Yashwant Sinha

On the eve of launching a ‘Gandhi Yatra’ on Thursday, January 9 against CAA, NPR and NRC, the former Union Minister is scathing in his criticism of the Modi Government

Photo Courtesy: IANS
Photo Courtesy: IANS

Annapurna Jha

“This government knows only three words-Hindu, Musalman and Pakistan, which forms it policy matrix, and all its utterances and actions revolve around them,” says the founder of Rashtra Manch and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha.

“The government’s core belief is that if you are able to divide the society on communal lines, then it would result in electoral gains by consolidation of Hindutva forces. So, it is spreading confusion to mislead the people. However, people will not allow their design to succeed,” he said in an interview.

Accusing the government with imposing an undeclared emergency in the country and unleashing violence to crush peaceful protests against Citizenship Amendment Act, NRC and NPR, he said that the present “undeclared emergency is much more vicious and pernicious” than the earlier one as it’s a communal move aimed to divide the country on the basis of religion.

Sinha, who is going to launch a Yatra through five states from January 9 in Mumbai against CAA, NRC and NPR, lauded the youth of the country for not accepting the excesses of the government lying down and rising in spontaneous protests against the misdeeds of the government.

“The Rashtra Manch, Friends of Democracy and Shetkari Jagaran Manch are demanding the repeal of CAA and an announcement by the government in Parliament that it will not carry out NRC. Since Aadhaar now covers all residents of the country, there is no need to waste money on NPR.”

The controversial NRC, he pointed out, was first envisaged in 2003 by the Government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After wide consultations the Standing Committee recommended it to the Parliament. It was to be a three-stage process, first census, then NPR which was registration of population with biometrics and the third stage was National Registration of Citizens.

“The government is hiding that the original bill was formulated during Vajpayee regime and is citing the NPR in 2010 to attack the Congress and alleging that Congress brought it first but are now opposing it,” said Sinha.

When Aadhar Bill was presented in Parliament, UIADA, Planning Commission and the Standing Committee on Finance had raised the question that since Aadhar was collecting biometric details, what was the need of NPR.

“This government under the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had adopted Aadhar enthusiastically for implementing all government schemes. They don’t understand that the situation has changed now from 2003 and 2010,” Sinha said.

The former union minister explained that four things had happened- first Aadhar had been introduced, then NRC was implemented in Assam and, thirdly CAA was passed in Parliament based on religion and finally, unlike this government people didn’t suspect intentions of Vajpayeeji and Dr Manmohan Singh.

“This government’s intention is suspected as they have botched up implementation of NRC in Assam and brought CAA in the name of religion. The people’s suspicion is proved from the fact that not a whisper was raised in 2003 or 2010, but huge spontaneous movements have come up now on this issue.”

According to Sinha, the Citizenship Amendment Act is flawed and could not be implemented as under it Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christian religious minority from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan seeking citizenship of India will have to prove that they were being persecuted on the basis of religion in their own country.

“Proving religious persecution for 10-20 or 50 years is very difficult, almost impossible task for anyone,” he said.

While including refugees from Bangladesh and Pakistan is understandable as they were once part of undivided India, he asked, on what basis have people from Afghanistan been included. And if religious minority from Afghanistan were included, then why not those from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tamils from Sri Lanka, Rohingyas from Myanmar or Buddhists from Tibet?

It seems that the government’s heart melts for religious minority of Pakistan and Bangladesh only while it has no sympathy for Tibetans who have been residing here for long, he said.

“By excluding Muslims from CAA, the government has tried to deliberately humiliate an important segment of our population. CAA based on religion is pernicious and must be opposed. NPR is not required as Aadhar is already there and government doesn’t have the capacity to implement NRC as it could not do it properly even in a state like Assam. So, the intention of the entire exercise is to humiliate and instill fear in the Muslim community.

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said travelling to foreign countries is not foreign policy as personal relationships doesn’t count in diplomacy. You may be best of friends but when it comes to national interests, hugging and back slapping would not count. Only economic power and democratic strength of the country would help in protecting national interests, said Sinha.

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Published: 09 Jan 2020, 7:55 AM