Actor Swara Bhaskar on Sunday launched an attack on the central government over awarding the Padma Shri to Pakistan origin musician Adnan Sami who became an Indian citizen in 2016.
Addressing a “Save the Constitution, Save the Country” rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore in opposition to the amended Citizenship Act, the actress stated that passing the contentious law, which gives citizenship to only non-Muslim refugees from three countries, amounted to betrayal of the secular constitution.
"The legal process to grant citizenship to refugees and arrest infiltrators already exists in India. You (the government) have granted the Indian citizenship to Adnan Sami and now selected him for Padma Shri through that process. (If this is the case) What is the need and justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act?" Swara Bhaskar asked.
Adnan Sami, born in London to a Pakistani parents, asked for Indian citizenship in 2015 and became a citizen in January 2016. He was among the 118 people chosen for the Padma Shri award by the government last month.
"On the one hand you abuse us (anti-CAA protesters), cane-charge us, slap us, hurl teargas shells at us and on the other hand you award Padma Shri to a Pakistani," she said Ms Bhaskar said the government labels some people as the members of "tukde-tukde gang" and anti-nationals" in accordance with its convenience.
"Supporters of the CAA and the NRC keep harping about the so-called infiltrators having entered our country. If that is the case then why are we unable to see these intruders?" she asked.
"The problem is that they have intruded into the minds of the government and the ruling party," she said. Ms Bhaskar said the government seems to have "fallen in love with Pakistan".
"It sees Pakistan everywhere. My devout grandmother doesn't chant Hanuman Chalisa as often as this government keeps chanting the Pakistan mantra," she said.
Without citing the RSS, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, Swara Bhaskar stated, "Sitting in Nagpur, these people are spreading politics of hatred". The RSS is based in Nagpur.
The actress stated that Pakistan decided on becoming a religious nation after the Partition unlike India which chose to become a secular republic where one’s religious belief has nothing to do with citizenship.
"(Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali) Jinnah died a long ago, but his admirers want to divide the country again in the name of a religion," Ms Bhaskar said.
Swara Bhaskar also threw brickbats at BJP’s Kailash Vijayvargiya for his controversial statement about the presence of Bangladeshi infiltrators in Indore, after some wage earners was seen eating poha and not rotis.
"If poha is a Bangladeshi cuisine, then Kailash Vijayvariya, who grew up eating poha (in Indore), should be required to show his Indian citizenship papers," she demanded.
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