Actor Rajinikanth, on Wednesday, voiced out his support for the Citizenship Amendment Act and stated that if any harm was to befall the existing Muslims in India due to the CAA, he would stand by them and support them. Speaking to reporters in front of his Poes Garden residence in Chennai, the actor also expressed his take on the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“They (the government) have explained clearly that because of the Citizenship Amendment Act there won’t be any problems for Indian citizens or their citizenship. The question is whether to grant citizenship to people coming into India from neighbouring countries. People are stoking fear that it is threatening Muslims. How is it a threat to Muslims? Do you know how much rights Muslims have here?” he said about CAA. He also said that the Muslims who stayed back in India during partition did so because of their love for the country and hence there is no way that they will be stripped off their citizenship and sent outside.
“The Muslims who stayed back did so with the thought that this is my country, this is my birthplace, this is my soil and if I die, I will die here and are living with these thoughts. How will they send these Muslims outside? If anything like that happens, I, Rajinikanth will voice out for those Muslims,” he explained.
Referring to extended protests across the country against the CAA, Rajinikanth said that political parties are provoking Muslims to protest. “Some political parties are provoking Muslims for their own benefit. Some religious leaders are also going with them, which is very wrong,” he said.
Advising the protesting students to read and inform themselves thoroughly before engaging in protests, the actor said that otherwise politicians will look to use the students for their own benefit. “Without doing this you protest, the problem will be for you because we don’t know how the police will react. And if any FIR is registered against you, your life will be gone. So please take care of it,” he warned the students.
Stating that NPR is essential, Rajinikanth added that it is nothing new. “The Congress has done it in 2010 and it has been done in 2015 as well. In 2021 it has to be done for the population. Shouldn’t we know who are all citizens of India, who are all from outside India?” he asked, adding that he doesn’t know why people consider it problematic.
Defending the union government’s takes on the NCR, Rajinikanth said that it has not been implemented yet and that the government is ‘just thinking about it’. He also added that a full picture of the same will be clear only after reading the drafts and the proceedings of the issue.
The superstar also said that Sri Lankan Tamil refugees who have lived in India for the past 30 years must be granted dual citizenship.
This is the first time Rajinikanth has taken a stand around the CAA, NPR and NRC amidst widespread protests against the same across the country.