Chandra Kumar Bose, the vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s West Bengal unit and the grandnephew of Subhash Chandra Bose, on Monday said a “slight modification” in the Citizenship Amendment Act – removing mention of specific religions – would “fizzle out” the entire Opposition campaign. Bose told ANI that the BJP’s job was to explain the law to citizens and not be “abusive”.
“I have suggested to my party leadership that with a little modification the entire Opposition campaign will fizzle out,” Bose told the news agency. “We need to specifically state that it is meant for persecuted minorities, we should not mention any religion.”
Bose said citizens had a right to protest, and they had that right and should be given space even when the protest was illogical. He added: “Our job is to explain to people that we are right and they are wrong. You cannot be abusive. Just because we have numbers today, we cannot do terror politics. Let us go to people explaining benefits of CAA.”
Bose said that he does not believe in “terror politics” or in “attacking people unnecessarily”. “You need not continuously attack your opponents using foul language,” he said. “That is not my approach to politics.”
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh has recently been using derogatory language against those opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act. On Friday, Ghosh had called those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens “termites”. On Sunday, he warned that people supporting undocumented immigrants would be sent back to Bangladesh along with “lungi-clad infiltrators”.
Bose had defied the party line on the matter last month as well. He had said that India was always open to all religions and communities. “If CAA2019 is not related to any religion why are we stating - Hindu, Sikh, Boudha, Christians, Parsis & Jains only!” Bose tweeted on December 24. “Why not include #Muslims as well? Let’s be transparent.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, provided they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014. The Act has been widely criticised for excluding Muslims. Twenty-six people died in last month’s protests against the law – all in the BJP-ruled states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Assam.