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Swami Vivekananda's followers fail to uphold his philosophy: Abhishek Banerjee attacks Centre on CAB

Swami Vivekanandas followers fail to uphold his philosophy: Abhishek Banerjee attacks Centre on CAB


New Delhi: Trinamool Congress leader and Lok Sabha member from Diamond Harbour constituency Abhishek Banerjee made a scathing attack on the incumbent government at centre, saying that Swami Vivekananda's followers and devotees fail to uphold his philosophy, during the discussion over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha on Monday.

"Swamiji would have been shell-shocked had he been here with us today to witness this Bill, that is fundamentally opposed to his idea of India, which is dividing India on the narrow lines of caste, community, creed, religion and race," Banerjee said.

During his maiden speech in the 17th Lok Sabha, the Trinamool MP also called BJP's ideology of shaping a new India is divisive in nature. He further added that there is a noxious motive of gaining political mileage by the current incumbents.

"Our Prime Minister, very often invokes Swami Vivekananda and his teachings, but fails in reality to practice his principles...126 years ago Swamiji mentioned while addressing the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, "We believe not only in universal tolerance, but we accept all religions as true." I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth," the Lok Sabha member asserted.

The CAB seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, if they fulfil conditions for grant of citizenship, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah mentioned while introducing the Bill in the Lower House.

Banerjee further attacked the government over failing to uphold the 'Unity' philosophy of India's Ironman and the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, but spending Rs 3000 crore to build a 600 feet (182 m) tall statue of him. He claimed that CAB violates Article 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India.

"Article 14 of the Constitution, which every member of the House is referring to, enacts that "The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India". Hence, it is clear the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 very clearly violates the Constitution of India. It is immoral and unconstitutional".

He further referred the list of people who have lost their lives due to NRC in the state and claimed, "This Act rips apart the soul of Bengal." TMC had raised the issue that the results of NRC, preceding the CAB, would be disastrous both inside and the outside of the Parliament, and the party supremo Mamata Banerjee further has been criticising the Centre's move in various times. Trinamool claimed that out of the 19 lakh people excluded from NRC in Assam, 11 lakh are Bengali Hindus (that's almost 60 per cent), 4 lakh are Hindus from other states (Bihar, UP, Odisha and Rajasthan), 1 lakh are Gorkhas and 3 lakh plus are Bengali Muslims. "Estimates reveal that 60-70 per cent of those held in detention camps are all Bengali Hindus," the politician added.

He further urged the government to not to discriminate citizenship on the basis of religion. If you have the guts include everyone. "Stop attempting to disrupt the unity and diversity of India," Banerjee said.

The Lower House of the Parliament also witnessed spar over the CAB, between the BJP and Congress, saying that the two-nation theory was first mooted by Hindutva ideology and Right leader V. D. Savarkar in 1935. Speaking on the Bill, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Manish Tiwari said, "I want to remind them (Govt) that the idea of partition on the religious basis was first floated in 1935 in Ahmedabad by Savarkar at a Hindu Mahasabha session, and not ( by the) Congress."

Slamming Congress party Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, " It would not have been needed had the Congress not allowed partition on the basis of religion."

Another Congress member and the Leader of the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the incumbents of targeting against minorities of the country. " It violates the fundamental principles of the Constitution and against the Preamble," he added.

Countering that BJP Lok Sabha member from New Delhi constituency Meenakshi Lekhi highlighted the anti-minority bias in the Pakistani text books. She noted the 2003 study of scholar Yvette Rosser to buttress the larger case that the Hindu minority community in Pakistan had been persecuted for generations.

Another Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said, participating the debate that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed by Parliament, it will be a victory of the thoughts of Muhammad Ali Jinnah over Mahatma Gandhi.

Besides, NCP MP Supriya Sule raised concerns, not supporting the Bill, said that CAB is not inclusive, creates perception of fear and insecurity. Claiming that the Citizenship Amendment Bill was "worse than Hitler's laws", Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tore a copy of the legislation in the midst of a heated debate in the Lok Sabha.

Reacting to the queries during the discussion on CAB, Shah said that Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is ours, the people there are also ours. Even today, we have reserved 24 seats for them in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly.

"In 1991, Hindu population was 84 per cent and in 2011, it was 79 per cent. In 1991, Muslim population was 9.8 per cent and today it is 14.23 per cent. We have done no discrimination on basis of religion and in future as well, there will be no discrimination based on religion," he further said.

Under no dimension, this bill is unconstitutional, or is against Article 14. We will never do anything to do away with Article 371.

I assure entire North East, there is a difference between a refugee and an infiltrator. Those who come here due to persecution, to save their religion and the honour of the women of their family, they are refugees and those who come here illegally are infiltrators, Shah assured the common public.

He further said that I want to tell all the MPs of Bengal that the citizenship will only be provided to Bengali refugees, don't you want Bengali Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and Christian refugees to get citizenship?

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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