In the backdrop of violent protests across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act, a seven-member inter-faith delegation on Wednesday (8 January) met Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy to express solidarity with the government, saying the law "concerns foreigners and no Indian has anything to fear".
The delegation comprised prominent spiritual leaders and social reformers from different faiths and sects, including Jain Acharya Lokesh, meditation guru Swami Deepankar, Mufti Shamoon Qasmi, Sardar Sant Singh, Veer Chakra Awardee Col T.P. Tyagi, Vineet Kumar and Gautam.
The delegation members expressed solidarity with the government and faith in the policies of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said a Home Ministry statement, adding the delegation unanimously affirmed that the CAA "concerns foreigners and no Indian, from whichever religion, caste, colour or creed, has anything to fear."
Highlighting the principles of "Dharma and Ahimsa" (religion and non-violence), the delegation affirmed their belief that the legislation has been passed on humanitarian grounds for those who fled from India's three neighbouring countries fearing persecution and had migrated to India for solace and safety.
"India being a land of mutual acceptance and harmony it is unacceptable that one protests against a decision that aims to alleviate the suffering of those uprooted families. The legislation is based on a perfect rationale and objective premise, members reiterated," said the delegation.
The delegation further expressed that resilience of Indian democracy lies in the strength of our collectivism, the belief in our principles of non-violence and acceptance and adherence to the principles of the Constitution.
They reiterated the fact that "we all identify ourselves as Indians before anything else and it keeps us together and urged the people to guard themselves against misinformation meant to destabilise our foundations of mutual respect and acceptance."
"It is this faith and belief that will keep us together and strong in the face of storm let loose by forces that do not want to see us united and growing."
As a symbolic gesture of religious harmony and peace, the delegation wished to reach out to the people with this message of non-violence and religious harmony and expressed their desire to meet Union Home Minister Amit Shah and the Prime Minister with this message of peace and solidarity.
Over 2,000 people have been arrested and around 5,000 detained while protesting against CAA since the Parliament passed the law on 11 December 2019. Hundreds of security personnel have also been injured in anti-CAA protests across India, the strongest dissent against Modi since he came into power in 2014.
The CAA aims to grant citizenship to members of six communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis -- facing persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and who sought refuge in India on or before 31 December 2014.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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