No U-Turn: Modi Didn’t Contradict Shah On NRC; Leftist Media Is Misleading Again

by Arihant Pawariya - Dec 23, 2019 02:50 PM +05:30 IST
No U-Turn: Modi Didn’t Contradict Shah On NRC; Leftist Media Is Misleading AgainPrime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP president Amit Shah. (Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Snapshot
  • It seems that some have taken the assurance given by the PM to Indian Muslims as an assurance to illegals too. It’s not his problem that these worthies have a problem differentiating between the two.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took his detractors to task in a marathon speech delivered at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan yesterday (22 December).

He dedicated a major portion of it to address lies, misinformation and propaganda being spread against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and fears being stoked about nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC) promised by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its 2019 general election manifesto.

Strangely, his detractors on social media claimed moral victory saying that Modi has ‘contradicted’ Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who has reiterated his position of bringing in a nationwide NRC before 2024 multiple times, both in election rallies as well as in Parliament.

Today, many mainstream dailies have run headlines portraying as if the Prime Minister has made a ‘U-turn’ on his party manifesto’s promise.

“Pan-India NRC never on the table, says PM,” is the headline today in far-left newspaper The Hindu. In the subheading, it claims “Modi contradicts Amit Shah’s statement in Lok Sabha”.

The Indian Express, another left-leaning English daily, has run a reality check. “Before PM Modi’s distancing from Pan-India NRC, there was Amit Shah’s underlining”.

One wonders how a mainstream newspaper can run a reality check on an assumption it has itself cooked up?

Among major English newspapers, only Times of India cared to carry the factually correct headline: ‘No rules framed for All-India NRC”.

It is not surprising that even those who have run misleading headlines have no quotes in their story to corroborate their claims of ‘U-turn’ or ‘contradiction’.

Modi mentioned NRC three times in his speech. Here’s what he actually said.

1. “Second thing, about the NRC. What lies are being spread about it.. This was made during the Congress government time. Were they sleeping then? We didn’t make it. It hasn’t come to the Parliament, nor has it come before the Union Cabinet. Nor have its rules and regulations been formulated. Fear is being created.”

What Modi is saying is that NRC was brought in by the Congress government and not by him, as is being projected. The NRC proposal hasn’t come up for discussion in the Union Cabinet. And until that happens, there is no question of it coming to Parliament let alone any rules being framed. Unnecessary bogey of paranoia is being created about something that hasn’t even been discussed within the government.

How are the media and leftists taking this to mean that just because it hasn’t yet been discussed, it will not be discussed in future when the party has promised to implement it in its manifesto?

2. ‘First, at least see if anything has happened on NRC. Lies are being spread. Since the time my government came in 2014 to date, I want to tell 130 crore people of this country, there has been no discussion or talk on NRC. Even in Assam, we did it on the directions of the Supreme Court. What are they even talking about?”

Again, just because there has not been any talk on NRC so far, it doesn’t mean it won’t be on the government’s agenda in future. Abrogation of Article 370 may also not have been discussed in the first term, but it was still done as promised in the party manifesto. The same is with the NRC. Home Minister Amit Shah has said repeatedly that the government will bring it before 2024. The least one can do is wait before celebrating the so-called backtracking by the PM prematurely.

3. Those Muslims who are sons of India’s soil and whose forefathers were children of Mother India have nothing to do with both CAA and NRC. The Muslims of the country are neither being sent to detention centres.

This is absolutely correct. Not only CAA, but even NRC has nothing to do with Muslims who are Indians and whose forefathers were Indians. Of course, when it comes to those who have come here illegally, the issue is entirely different. But it seems that some have taken this assurance by the PM to Indian Muslims as an assurance to illegals too.

It’s not his problem that these worthies have a problem differentiating between the two.

4. “One gentleman even did calculations that how much NRC will cost, where will it be spent, how many schools could’ve been....why are you exercising your brain on something which doesn’t even exist.”

Now, the PM saying NRC doesn’t exist is being taken to mean that it won’t exist ever. Those indulging in such mental gymnastics are only fooling themselves.

They should rather focus on NRC being a promise made by the BJP in its manifesto. And by the way the Modi government is fulfilling these pledges one by one and striking them off from its ‘shapath patra’, the detractors are in for utter disappointment.

Arihant Pawariya is Senior Editor, Swarajya.
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