Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said the country was quietly watching the “real face” of those giving a communal colour to the decisions the government had taken to solve decades-old problems.

Speaking at a National Cadet Corps event in New Delhi, Modi said the Citizenship Amendment Act was meant to “correct historical injustice” and fulfil the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “old promise” to minorities living in neighbouring countries.

The Citizenship Amendment Act, passed by Modi’s government last month, 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.

Modi spoke of the work done by his government, such as the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, the Bodo agreement, and criminalisation of instant triple talaq. He said the problem in Jammu and Kashmir had persisted since Independence and some families and political parties had kept the region’s problems “alive”, which led terrorism to thrive there, PTI reported.

He criticised Pakistan, saying the neighbouring country lost three wars against India, yet it continued to wage proxy wars. Modi also slammed the “inaction” of previous governments at the Centre and said they had treated it as a law and order problem.

Modi attributed some of the stated achievements of his government’s tenure to young India. “It is the young India, new India, because of which the biggest worry of 40 lakh people in Delhi has been removed,” the prime minister said, referring to the regularisation of unauthorised colonies in Delhi. “Our decision will benefit Hindus as well as Muslims, Sikhs and Christians.”

“Today, India is known as a young country,” Modi said. “We are proud that we are young, but it is our responsibility that our thoughts should also be young. My India’s youth are not ready to accept [the status quo]. They are restless – how long will things stay the same, even after so many years of independence? How long will we hold on to old weaknesses? The country is moving ahead with a youthful mindset, this is why it is conducting surgical strikes and airstrikes and is attacking terrorists at their homes.”