Mohan Bhagwat, the chief of BJP's ideological mentor RSS, has said that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) will not harm the Muslims of the country. Mr Bhagwat, who is visiting Assam, alleged that a communal narrative around these issues is being created to get political mileage.
"Since 1930, there have been organised plans to increase the Muslim population not in connection with terrorism and economy but to become a dominant force. It happened in Punjab, in Bengal and in Assam. There are plans to turn these areas into their majority so that things work on their own terms. This happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Still, we want assimilation and want to live together," Mr Bhagwat said on Wednesday, after launching a book titled 'Citizenship debate over NRC and CAA: Assam and the Politics of History'.
The Citizenship Amendment Act that seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim minorities from neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan to get Indian citizenship, had triggered widespread protests in the northeast in 2019.
Lakhs of people were left out from Assam's citizens' list when the final draft of the NRC was published in 2019.
The RSS chief further added that the new citizenship law would give protection to the persecuted minorities in the neighbouring countries, especially in Pakistan and Bangladesh.
"After the partition, we have taken care of our minorities even though Pakistan did not do it...and NRC is only a process to find out who is a genuine citizen, nothing else. The matter (NRC) is in the government domain. A section of people wants to get political mileage by creating a communal narrative involving both the NRC and CAA," he added.
He also claimed that since the 'Mahabharata' period, Assam has had a history of migration but never had so much fear from 'illegal influx'.
"Assimilation of all communities should take place, but there should not be any fear of other communities. Akhand Bharat is needed for the welfare of the universe. India has the ability to overcome several challenges and the world looks towards it to overcome those challenges and difficulties. With the "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (world is one family) belief, India can again put forward happiness and peace to the world," he said.
This is Mr Bhagwat's first visit to Assam after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government returned for the second consecutive term in May.