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Indian government takes swipe at Muslims

By News Express on 13/04/2019

Views: 950

•BJP president Amit Shah
•BJP president Amit Shah

 Critics have accused India’s ruling party of promoting communal tensions after a top official promised to rid the country of all “infiltrators” in an apparent swipe at Muslims and other religious minorities.

“We will remove every single infiltrator from the country, except Buddha, Hindus and Sikhs,” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah told supporters in West Bengal on Thursday.

He promised to do so by implementing the National Registry of Citizens nationwide. The NRC is a hugely controversial policy mooted last year in Assam, a region of India which shares a porous border with Bangladesh.

Proponents of the registry say it will help root out illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, but the move has prompted fears of possible deportation among Assam’s hundreds of thousands of Bengali-speaking Muslims, with an estimated 4 million people’s citizenship at risk.

Implementation of the registry has been long delayed, but Shah’s comments have put the issue front and center in the country’s weeks-long general election, which kicked off on Thursday.

In his speech, Shah said the government “won’t send the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists coming in from Bangladesh or Pakistan because they are our brothers and they’ve come here because they’ve faced persecution in those countries.”

“To a refugee in West Bengal, I want to say, you don’t have to be afraid of anyone. We treat a refugee here as a son and daughter of India and they will be given citizenship,” he added. “The BJP’s pledge is to get rid of the infiltrators.”

Anti-Islam rhetoric

A Hindu nationalist party, the BJP has long faced accusations of anti-Muslim rhetoric.

As chief minister of Gujarat, Modi faced local and international criticism for violent rioting along communal lines in 2002 in which more 1,000 people were killed, most of them Muslims. He has never faced charges in connection with violence.

And since he became Prime Minister in 2014, critics have pointed to a rise in high-profile anti-Muslim rhetoric.

The BJP and its supporters have also sought to label their critics as “anti-nationals” – effectively, as anti-Indian – or as in league with Pakistan, the country’s main geopolitical foe.

A spokesman for the BJP did not respond to a request for comment Friday. (CNN)

Source News Express

Posted 13/04/2019 11:13:38 AM

 


 

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