Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government would try to convince those opposing the CAA but added only those who are asleep can be awakened and not those who pretend to be asleep.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday said there is no question of going back on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, but the government would try to convince people opposing it.
“After all, why shouldn’t the persecuted religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan be given citizenship in India?” Union Minister for Law and Justice Prasad asked.
“There is no question of our going back on the CAA,” the minister asserted. Prasad made the remark in Dehradun in his inaugural address to Income Tax Appellate Tribunal’s circuit bench.
He said the government would try to convince those opposing the CAA but added only those who are asleep can be awakened and not those who pretend to be asleep.
“We can’t go back on the CAA but we will keep trying to convince people. However, the fact remains that we can wake up only those who are asleep, not those who are asleep while awake,” he said. The minister said the peaceful coexistence of people of all religions is the central to Indian ethos.
Talking about India’s accommodative approach to religions, he cited the example of Parsis who made the country their home.
“India is a country of warm-hearted people, a quality evident in the spectacular reception accorded to US president Donald Trump by a huge crowd in Ahmedabad,” he said.
“But at the same time, we are also a tough country which cannot be cowed down,” he asserted.
Summing up the “guiding principles” of Narendra Modi government, he recited Rashtra Kavi Ramdhari Singh Dinkar’s famous line, “Kshama Shobhti us bhujang ko jiske paas garal ho… (Forgiveness behoves only snakes which have venom).”
He said a remarkable fact about Prime Minister Narendra Modi is that he has been honoured by six countries, including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Afghanistan and Israel, with their highest civilian awards.