On giving Indian citizenship to Pakistan's Ahmadiyya community, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has said that doing so could trigger a reaction from Indian Muslims. Speaking at India TV's mega conclave Chunav Manch, the Union Minister said that if the members of Pakistan's Ahmadiyya community, who are facing persecution in their own country, are given Indian citizenship, it could lead to a strong reaction from Indian Muslims.
"As far as Ahmadiyyas are concerned, Pakistanis do not consider them as Muslims. How would Indian Muslims react if Ahmadiyya's are granted citizenship under the amended citizenship act," Ravishankar Prasad said.
Prasad was addressing the issue of not including Muslim community in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). "In Pakistan, Sindhi agitation is that of their regional identity. Similarly Baloch agitation is also of Baloch nationalism identity. None of these communities are being persecuted because they are Muslims or follow Islam," Prasad added.
He also tried to clear the air regarding the CAA and NRC. He said that the people are being mislead, they should look at the facts more clearly. "Everyone has a right to criticize the laws made by the government, criticize the party, criticize the home minister but they must also know the facts. CAA does not apply to any Indian citizen. It does not take away anyone's citizenship," he said.
He further added, "Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists have all contributed equally in shaping India into a country that it is. We are absolutely ready to discuss CAA with everyone but with proper means."
The Law Minister said that CAA should be looked not with the prism of law but with a prism of humanity. In support of his argument he said that Sikh community in Afghanistan has diminished over the years.
On the issue of National Population Register (NPR), the law Minister asked, "Can you enter America just like that? You are either a citizen or enter with a visa. If we want to keep a record of our citizens why should that be a problem?"
Ravi Shankar Prasad also addressed the issue of the Shaheen Bagh protests against the amended citizenship act in India. "We respect people's right to protest against the policies of the government, but what is happening in Shaheen Bagh is also not right. People from within Shaheen Bagh have come out and said that those protesting there are outsiders and should be moved. A lot of inconvenience is being caused to the local residents," he said while replying to questions from the guest at Chunav Manch.
"There are two schools of thoughts in India, we respect the school of thought of APJ Abdul Kalam, Zaheer Khan, Yousuf Pathan, Abul Kalam Azad and several other Muslim scholars and achievers in India," he added.