The Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA is no threat to Muslims and if they face trouble, "I will be the first person to raise voice for them", superstar Rajinikanth today, making his stand clear on the law that has triggered protests across the country. He also termed the National Population Register "essential".
"The CAA is no threat to Muslims. If they face trouble, I will be the first person to raise voice for them," Rajinikanth said.
"How will Muslims who chose to stay back in India following Partition be sent out of the country?" he added.
Rajinikanth, whose political debut has been anticipated for some time and is expected before the Tamil Nadu election next year, urged students to hold protests only after analysing the subjects and discussing with their professors.
"The government has assured that Indian people will have no issues in respect of CAA. Some political parties are instigating people against CAA for their selfish interests," Rajinikanth said.
In December, Rajinikanth had expressed concern over violence in various parts of the country over the citizenship law, saying violence and rioting cannot be a way to find solution to any issue.
"Violence and rioting should not become a way to find solution for any issue. I request the people of India to stay united and vigilant keeping in mind the nation's security and welfare," he had tweeted.
Rajinikanth, 69, skipped the Lok Sabha election last year to focus on the Tamil Nadu assembly election.
Kamal Haasan, the other superstar from Tamil Nadu, had attacked the government over the Citizenship Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), saying that having majority in parliament doesn't give the government the authority to "destroy" the fabric of the nation.
"High time, they realise that majority in parliament doesn't give them authority to destroy the fabric of my nation. After CAA, their next brainchild is NRC. You cannot deny one's ancestry based on documentary evidence or lack of it. My fight won't stop till this tyranny goes off," Kamal Haasan, who launched his party in 2018 and fielded candidates in the national election, had tweeted in December.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act for the first time makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.
Both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have also expressed the possibility of working together if required. Although Rajinikanth appears to be echoing the BJP's line on many issues, he had said recently, "Attempts to smear me with BJP colour won't work."