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On Sunday, 22nd December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a rally at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, and ‘clarified’ his views on the ongoing protests on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. PM Modi used the oldest trick in the book to divert the public’s attention from current problems, ‘if you cannot convince them, confuse them.’ The BJP claims to have nothing but the best interests of the public in mind. In PM’s latest speech at Ramlila Maidan, he lied over a lot of issues—the National Register of Citizens and Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, which are widely being protested against, were the PM’s main topics of address but he refused to clarify anything about these two. 

The gaslighting and lies involved:

1. PM’s claim that there is no plan of Nationwide National Register of Citizens and it was never mentioned

Lie: “I want to tell the 130 crore citizens of India that since my government has come to power, since 2014, there has been no discussion on NRC anywhere…,” PM Modi said at Ramlila Maidan. “Lies are being spread.”

Fact: However, on separate instances, Home Minister Amit Shah has maintained the chronology of CAA, followed by nationwide NRC. Amit Shah has also spoken about NRC in parliament, multiple times, in interviews, and at public rallies. Not just that, Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister has corroborated these claims. Just yesterday, senior BJP leader Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed to having a countrywide NRC after discussions.

The NPR is a database containing a list of all usual residents of the country. Its objective is to have a comprehensive identity database of people residing in the country. It asks you basic demographic details except a striking one: Your parent’s name, date and place of birth, something that an NRC would ask. The rules say the particulars of every family and individual found in the Population Register “shall be verified and scrutinised by the Local Registrar…” In the process, details of those ‘whose citizenship is doubtful’ will be entered with a comment suggesting further inquiry. 

2. PM’s claim that there are no detention centres anywhere

Lie: PM Modi said, “CAA is not for any citizen of this country. There’s been misinformation about NRC. Cong & its allies are spreading rumours and lies about detention centres. CAA & NRC has nothing to do with Indian Muslims. There is no detention centre in the country.”

Fact: However, there are 6 detention centres in Assam, one of which is massively built; one in Karnataka, and there are plans of one being built in Maharashtra as well. The Centre also told Karnataka HC on November 28, “We have written to all State Govts in 2014 & follow up letter in 2018, to have detention centres to house foreign nationals illegally staying in India.” In a written reply to a Rajya Sabha question BJP Minister Nityanand Rai has stated that 28 foreigners have died, 988 other have been lodged in the six detention centres in Assam. 

3. PM’s claim that BJP had nothing to do with making CAA-NRC official, and only did so on the Supreme Court’s order

Lie: PM claimed that the BJP only acted on NRC on SC orders.

Fact: But actually the BJP’s Lok Sabha election manifesto clearly states a plan for NRC. Since then, the President of India, PM Modi and Home Minister Shah have on multiple occasions, in speeches and within Parliament, announced that a pan-India NRC will be implemented.

BJP CAA-NRC Manifesto

4. PM claiming he has never been discriminatory or communal

Lie: PM Modi is not communal.

Fact: The BJP is infamous for consistently making communal comments and using derogatory slurs against Muslims. The Prime Minister’s claim that he has never been communal can be falsified, because just a few days back, he claimed that, “Arsonists/rioters can be identified by their clothes,” taking a jibe at Muslim student protestors. A few months back, he also claimed Rahul Gandhi is Wayanad’s MP because it is a ‘Muslim constituency’. He indulges in such gaslighting so the onus is on the victim who feels discriminated to “prove” that they are indeed facing discrimination, making a victim feel like they should question their memory or their perception.

5. PM calling protestors Naxals and Congress

When the Prime Minister indulges in name-calling to those who protest against him and his policies, he makes the protestors feel like they have no agency of themselves whatsoever. A protestor is made to feel like an agent of another party or political thought but not an individual with information and a mind to segregate what they support and what they do not support. However, amid the PM’s name calling that gratifies Twitter trolls, the necessity for reason is lost.

6. PM’s claim that Islamic countries support him despite CAA

Lie: “Congress, others worried if Muslims across the world support me so much, how long can they frighten Indian Muslims,” said PM Modi.

Fact: However, things aren’t going that well with Turkey and Malaysia post the abrogation of Article 370, human rights violations in Kashmir, and now CAA-NRC. The government has cancelled a two-day official visit to Ankara by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the backdrop of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s UNGA speech last month where he criticised India’s move on Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. Citing anonymous sources of government and industry, Reuters said the Indian government is “finding ways to limit the imports of palm oil and may ban other products from the region.” The root of India’s rage was a remark made by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Jammu and Kashmir.

7. The gaslighting on the “lives of police personnel”

The PM Modi said, “33,000 police personnel laid down their lives during work since independence but now being attacked mercilessly,” as if the protestors are the ones that are deliberately hitting at the police force. There was NO mention of the lives lost due to police brutality, no concern for the students that laid down their lives, just some bogus fact about how many police personnel have died since independence, as though to vilify protestors as some kind of a police-killing force.

Let PM Modi know that lying cannot get him out of an Act passed in parliament. The government cannot continue to ignore our right to protest and use police crackdown on protestors and then gaslight us into believing that we, protestors are wrong. A Prime Minister lying about his work in front of such a large mass says a lot about him and the kind of work he must indulge in. 

The BJP government must roll back CAA-NRC instead of using lies and gaslighting to cover for it.

Also read: The Lie About Digital India And The Truth About Internet Shutdown


Featured Image Source: Indian Express

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