Bollywood actor Swara Bhasker is one of the few celebrities who have taken a stand on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC). She has shown up at protests and has been quite outspoken on social media as well. Recently, she was on a debate on ABP news for the event Hindustan Samagam in Lucknow on the above issues. The channel’s Twitter handle tweeted a clip of the debate saying “Watch: When Rubika Liyaquat suggested Swara Bhasker to read CAA”. In the video, Rubika is repeatedly asking Swara where the NRC draft is, and telling her to read the CAA.
However, it was pointed out by Mohammed Zubair, co-founder of fact-checking website Alt News, that ABP News had not tweeted the part of the debate where Swara articulately explains her issues with the CAA and NRC in response to Rubika. Later, Swara also pointed out that ABP News had only tweeted a selective portion of the debate, and posted the full video.
“Without NPR and NRC, the CAA is of no use. If you take back NPR and NRC, see what will happen – the opposition will also fall silent,” Swara explains in the video tweeted by Mohammed Zubair. “You are right, CAA does not pertain to Indian citizens. However, as soon as you bring in the NRC, which makes a list of illegal residents – that could be anyone, even you and me. […] The way this power is being given to government officials to decide who is an Indian citizen – that is what we have a problem with.”
Swara also argued that the government has not been clear in its answers to the people about NRC. “The government treated this as an election issue, brought it in, but did not expect so many people to take to the streets in protest,” Swara says.
Rubika then throws a jibe at the actor asking in what language the Prime Minister Narendra Modi should reiterate that the government has not yet deliberated on the NRC. Swara sharply replies, “Maybe the Prime Minister should explain in Gujarati to the Home Minister (Amit Shah) that there have been no talks on NRC. Because the Home Minister has said many times that NRC is going to be implemented in the entire country.”
After Zubair pointed out the second clip, many people came out in support of Swara, lauding her for putting across her points in a strong and articulate manner. Here are some reactions.
Here is why @ReallySwara is absolutely right. The NRC is already in the law. Section 14A of the Citizenship Act. It has been elaborated on in the Rules. And connected to the NPR. #swarabhaskar #MathematicianSwara #RubikaLiyaquat https://t.co/TWmjWKalsA— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) February 23, 2020
The link between the NPR (already under way) and the NRC is set out clearly in the law. The Citizenship Rules of 2003 make it clear that the information collected under the NPR will be used to make an NRC (including lists of Doubtful Citizens).— Gautam Bhatia (@gautambhatia88) February 23, 2020
See: https://t.co/QGPV7uFz7O https://t.co/dFmzVp4glP
What strikes me about this entire series of clips on @ReallySwara 's timeline is not that she is on point with her scalpel-sharp responses, but that the reporter/anchor questioning her is so openly functioning as a BJP inquisitor that it makes you cringe. https://t.co/phn5WfaJ9v— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) February 24, 2020
I saw both the videos and noticed how .@ABPNews have clipped off your response to suit their agenda. The anchor was biased, didn’t allow you to respond and as an institution, ABP are spreading misinformation. I’m glad you were composed and stood your ground. More power to you!— Gaurang Manjrekar (@Maanjrr) February 23, 2020
She speaks not from hatred, neither is her speech from any vindictive standpoint, she speaks with concern, reason, and from a logical standpoint, and she exercises her fundamental right to question. She is speaking for India. @ReallySwara @ABPNews @abpnewshindi https://t.co/8wYviYSkBr— Arfi Lamba (@arfilamba) February 23, 2020