RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament and described it as a "courageous step". Joshi said the stand of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always been that a Hindu who comes to India because of persecution in another country cannot be termed as an intruder, but a refugee.
The bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Lok Sabha passed it on Monday. Talking to reporters in Nagpur, Joshi dubbed it as a "courageous step" and thanked the BJP-led central government, the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for taking the initiative.
"The RSS has always had the stand that a Hindu who comes to India because of persecution in another country cannot be termed as an intruder, but a refugee, and there is a need for these refugees to have a respectable life and common rights in our country. But, a lot of time passed and these refugees had to wait," he said. But, the present government has taken a "very good step" and the minority communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan will get a respectable place in India, Joshi said. The bill provides an "assurance" (of a respectable life) to the refugees who come to India, he added.