Taking a jibe at MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his comment that India was not a ‘dharamshala’ (sanctuary), NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik on Monday stated that his party agreed on this contention with caveats. He claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act was the real problem which would result in India becoming a 'dharamshala'. Moreover, Malik who is also the Minority Affairs Minister in Maharashtra, asserted that the NCP is opposing to the CAA as the law discriminated on the basis of religion.
Raj Thackeray has said that this country has become a dharamshala. Yes, we agree. The way the Citizenship Act has been amended, the way people got citizenship and the way the government is willing to give citizenship, it will become a dharamshala.We oppose religion based the CAA— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) February 10, 2020
Addressing a massive rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai on February 9, Raj Thackeray staunchly defended the CAA and the possible implementation of the National Register of Citizens. While maintaining that Hindus faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, he questioned the demand of the anti-CAA protesters to allow Muslims from the aforesaid countries into India. Stressing that India already had a huge population, Thackeray noted that India was not a dharamshala.
Raj Thackeray remarked, "When minorities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are persecuted because of religion, shouldn't we take them in Hindustan? The minorities there are Hindus. They say, even bring the Muslims. How do we get them? I had said, we have a population of 156 crore people, we still can't disciple that. What is wrong with CAA? Now the issue is NRC. Do they think my country is a dharamshala? They are coming from anywhere, living anywhere. I know we have issues of water, education, unemployment but the issue of infiltrators is equally important."
There have been nationwide protests against the implementation of the CAA and the NRC. The former was passed by both House of Parliament in December. It seeks to provide citizenship to the minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
On the other hand, the NRC has only been conducted in the state of Assam under the supervision of the Supreme Court. However, the opposition has raised the apprehension about the possibility of NRC being implemented along with the CAA. It has been alleged that a particular community would be targeted in this process.