Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also slammed by opposition parties for making a "political speech" at Belur Math, saying he has forgotten to differentiate between a spiritual place and a rally.

PTI
news CAA Monday, January 13, 2020 - 13:39

The Ramakrishna Math and Mission on Sunday distanced itself from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, contending that it was a strictly apolitical body which did not respond to "ephemeral" calls.

The Prime Minister, during his address at Belur Math -- the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission -- said that the new law would not take away anybody's citizenship, and a section of the youth was being misguided about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. He strongly defended the new citizenship law, saying that the dispute that has arisen over it has made the world aware of the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan.

"Had we not amended the citizenship law, this 'vivaad' (dispute) would not have arisen. Had this dispute not arisen, the world would not have known the kind of atrocities that were perpetrated on the (religious) minorities in Pakistan.

"....how human rights have been violated. How the lives of our sisters and daughters were ruined. It's the result of our initiative that Pakistan will have to answer for its acts of oppression against the minorities there," he told a gathering at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission.

Soon after Modi had left the premises, the monastic order distanced itself from his speech, saying it is an apolitical organisation where people of all religious faiths live like "brothers of same parents".

“We are strictly an apolitical body. We cannot comment on the PM's speech on CAA. We have come here after leaving our homes to answer to eternal call. We do not respond to ephemeral call," Ramakrishna Math and Mission general secretary Swami Suvirananda, told reporters.

"We are above politics. To us Narendra Modi is the leader of India and Mamata Banerjee is the leader of West Bengal," he said, adding "we are inclusive as an organisation which has monks from Hindu, Islam, Christian (faiths). We live like more than brothers of same parents".

He said Modi was a guest and the onus was on him on what he had spoken at the Math.

"But when you have a guest... Atithi Devo Bhava is the Indian culture. And you must extend all kinds of courtesies, decencies to him. And if something you feel ought not have been told, the onus lies on the person who tells it but not on the host -- by no logic," he added.

PM Modi was at Belur Math to pay tribute to Swami Vivekananda on the birth anniversary of the 19th Century Hindu monk.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making a "political speech" at Belur Math, saying he has forgotten to differentiate between a spiritual place and a rally out of desperation to implement the "divisive" new Citizenship law.

Claiming that the countrywide protests against the CAA have cornered the Centre, the TMC, CPI(M) and the Congress said the Prime Minister should have "spared the holy land of Belur Math from his divisive politics".

"The headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission-Belur Math is known across the world as a holy land. The Prime Minister should have refrained from making a political speech there. We condemn it.He should not have turned Belur Math into a venue of a political rally. There is some decorum in politics and public life, we need to maintain it," Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.

The Ramakrishna Math and Mission on Sunday distanced itself from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, contending that it was a strictly apolitical body which did not respond to "ephemeral" calls.

The Prime Minister, during his address at Belur Math -- the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission -- said that the new law would not take away anybody's citizenship, and a section of the youth was being misguided about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA. He strongly defended the new citizenship law, saying that the dispute that has arisen over it has made the world aware of the persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan.

"Had we not amended the citizenship law, this 'vivaad' (dispute) would not have arisen. Had this dispute not arisen, the world would not have known the kind of atrocities that were perpetrated on the (religious) minorities in Pakistan.

"....how human rights have been violated. How the lives of our sisters and daughters were ruined. It's the result of our initiative that Pakistan will have to answer for its acts of oppression against the minorities there," he told a gathering at Belur Math, the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission.

Soon after Modi had left the premises, the monastic order distanced itself from his speech, saying it is an apolitical organisation where people of all religious faiths live like "brothers of same parents".

“We are strictly an apolitical body. We cannot comment on the PM's speech on CAA. We have come here after leaving our homes to answer to eternal call. We do not respond to ephemeral call," Ramakrishna Math and Mission general secretary Swami Suvirananda, told reporters.

"We are above politics. To us Narendra Modi is the leader of India and Mamata Banerjee is the leader of West Bengal," he said, adding "we are inclusive as an organisation which has monks from Hindu, Islam, Christian (faiths). We live like more than brothers of same parents".

He said Modi was a guest and the onus was on him on what he had spoken at the Math.
"But when you have a guest... Atithi Devo Bhava is the Indian culture. And you must extend all kinds of courtesies, decencies to him. And if something you feel ought not have been told, the onus lies on the person who tells it but not on the host -- by no logic," he added.

PM Modi was at Belur Math to pay tribute to Swami Vivekananda on the birth anniversary of the 19th Century Hindu monk.

Meanwhile, the Opposition parties on Sunday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for making a "political speech" at Belur Math, saying he has forgotten to differentiate between a spiritual place and a rally out of desperation to implement the "divisive" new Citizenship law.

Claiming that the countrywide protests against the CAA have cornered the Centre, the TMC, CPI(M) and the Congress said the Prime Minister should have "spared the holy land of Belur Math from his divisive politics".

"The headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission-Belur Math is known across the world as a holy land. The Prime Minister should have refrained from making a political speech there. We condemn it.He should not have turned Belur Math into a venue of a political rally. There is some decorum in politics and public life, we need to maintain it," Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.