19:54 GMT28 September 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): People in India have been protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act for the past month. Despite nationwide protests, the government announced the implementation of the new law on 10 January. Protesters are claiming that the Modi administration amended a 1955 citizenship law to divide the country along religious lines.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reiterated that the new citizenship law will not revoke anybody’s citizenship but insisted that those playing political games are purposefully refusing to understand this and are misleading people with regards to the Citizenship Amendment Act.

    “I repeat again, Citizenship act is not to revoke anyone's citizenship, but it is to give citizenship. After independence, Mahatma Gandhi ji and other big leaders of the time all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan,” Prime Minister Modi said during his address in Kolkata city of eastern state of Bengal on Sunday.

    Following the second day of his visit to the state, Prime Minister Modi spent the night at Belur Math temple – a monastery serving as the headquarters of the Hindu religious and spiritual organisation Ramakrishna Math and Mission, founded by Hindu Monk Swami Vivekananda, as a mark of respect to Vivekananda on the anniversary of his birth.

    Swami Vivekananda's birthday on 12 January is also commemorated as National Youth Day.

    Modi said: “We must always remember Swami Vivekananda’s iconic saying 'give me 100 energetic youth and I shall transform India'. Our energy and passion to do something is necessary for change.”

    The repeated attempts by the Indian government to asssure that the new law doesn’t discriminate have failed because the protesters find it to be a “clear violation” of the Indian Constitution, as it issues citizenship on the basis of religion.

    The new citizenship law allows Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists, and Jains to be granted Indian citizenship if they arrived in India on or before December 2014.

    India's highest court is expected to hear at least 59 petitions on 22 January. During the anti-CAA protests, thousands of protesters were arrested for instigating violence in states including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and Gujarat. According to India’s Home Ministry, some 22 people lost their lives and 288 police personnel were injured.


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