Kerala: Muslim, Christian communities express concerns on CAA

"The crisis have been triggered to this level because of things which happened in the past, including the Kashmir issue says E M Najeeb

Prime News, Nation, (Thiruvananthapuram), Januray 6:-The BJP’s door-to-door campaign launched by Union Minister Kiren Rijiju in Kerala on Sunday to dispel ‘misinformation’ on the CAA saw the members of the Muslim and Christian communities here expressing their concerns on the law which has witnessed widespread protests across the country.

The minister, who began his visit to houses of some prominent personalities, including the head of the Latin catholic church Archbishop Soosa Pakiam, expressed hope people of the state with a high literacy rate will not be ‘misguided’ by those working to ‘destroy’ the country’s social fabric.

Expressing his concern on the amendment, the Archbishop, who is the head of the influential Latin catholics in the state, said the Muslim community was being “targeted and sidelined”.

“You may not agree with us but we feel that Muslims are being targeted and sidelined. This might be a good step that you are visiting us to address our concerns,” the bishop told the Minister.

Prominent businessman E M Najeeb, who is also the President of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Muslim Association, also informed the minister about his community’s apprehensions and sought an inclusive policy.

“It’s been triggered to this level because of things which happened in the past, including the Kashmir issue.

Unfortunately the Babri Masjid order also came and the land was not given to the community. Probably all these made the Muslim community worry about the act,” Najeeb said.

He also told the minister that in Kerala, “we live together and work together”.

“If I need any help, I ask them (BJP leaders). Likewise, If they need any help, they will call me…,”he said.

The association also handed over a memorandum, to Rijiju, seeking withdrawal of the controversial act.

On his first stop at Malayalam writer and Kerala Sahitya Akademi award winner George Onakkoor’s house here, the writer informed him it was unfair to have excluded members of one religion from the act’s purview.

Rijiju explained to him the stand of BJP and the Centre on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act, over which protests are being held in various parts of the country.

The minister explained that the act was not against any particular religion and pointed out that earlier the NDA government had given citizenship to “good Muslims”, like singer Adnan Sami.

“By good Muslims, we mean those who are not criminals,” he explained.

Onakoor, who had participated in BJP programmes, including a recent protest by former Mizoram governor Kummanam Rajasherkaran, later told mediapersons that strict laws were needed to provide citizenship for the country’s security.

“But we cannot do that by listing out six religions and leaving out any particular religion from the act. This creates a sense of feeling of bing alienated in the society,” he said.

When asked about the views expressed by the writer, Rijiju said that in a democracy everyone has the right to have a different opinion.

“I wanted to meet some prominent personalities…The literacy rate in Kerala is very high. The awareness level is very high. So I am sure and have full confidence that Kerala people, especially the youth, will not be misguided by the anti-social elements who are working day and night to destroy the social fabric of India,” the Minister said.

Rijiju, scheduled to visit at least 10 houses in the city this morning, cancelled his programme citing lack of time.

As part of its outreach programme on CAA, the BJP has announced a 10-day door-to-door awareness campaign till January 15 to dispel ‘misinformation’ on the issue.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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