Senior Congress leader and Union Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday called for a "huge mass movement" if any Muslim is sent to detention camps, in the case the Supreme Court upholds the validity of the contentious Citizenship law (CAA). Speaking at the JNU campus in the national capital, Chidambaram said that CAA was an outcome of the "NRC fiasco" in Assam which left 19 lakh, people, out of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
The CAA was brought to accommodate 12 lakh Hindus out of the 19 lakh people who could not be included in the final NRC in Assam, he claimed. Stating that the CAA harms the foundation of the Indian Constitution, Chidambaram said, "They have cut the foundation of India's citizenship premise. They have cut at the premise by saying that citizenship for a certain set of people will be based on religion, not on territory. There are many learned people, who say, so what? That is the superficial view. The deeper cut is, you are changing the basis of citizenship to religion from territory."
"Now they are granting or denying citizenship based on religion. There are some countries who grant citizenship based on relationship, I'm not denying that, but that is not the basis on which India is formed. So you are undermining the basis of India's Constitution. You say there are three neighbours where people are persecuted. A bit of Afghanistan touches India, Pakistan is a neighbour, Bangladesh is a neighbour, but do we have only three neighbours?" he added.
Replying to a question by a student asking for the best course of action if the CAA is upheld by the apex court, Chidambaram said, "When they touch the excluded...they will only be Muslims, try to identify and throw them out, declare them Stateless. There must be a huge mass movement resisting any Muslim being thrown out or kept in detention camps."
He also said Congress believes the CAA must be repealed and there should be a political struggle so that National Population Register (NPR) is pushed beyond 2024. The CAA, 2019, that was passed by the Parliament on 11 December 2019, seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim.
(With PTI inputs)