Mumbai: The Centre's continuing support to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) is not just a "diversionary tactic" being deployed in the face of an economic crisis but it's a part of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) "Hindu Rashtra" project, noted journalist N Ram said here on Saturday.
He also appealed to protesters to maintain discipline to ensure that the "mass upsurge" doesn't lose steam.
"I don't think this is just a diversionary tactic. It may have that effect of diverting attention from the economic crisis, the collapse of their dream of building a powerful economy in India," N Ram said.
He made the remarks during the opening session 'The Rising Tide in Indian Politics' of the two-day 'Mumbai Collective' initiative that began here on Saturday.
Explaining, Ram referred to the BJP's 2019 Lok Sabha poll manifesto in which the party talked about its commitment towards enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of religious minority communities Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India's neighbouring country.
Ram said that in the manifesto, the BJP also talked about making efforts to clarify the issues to the sections of population from the North-Eastern states who have expressed apprehension regarding the legislation.
He claimed that Christians were not part of the BJP's list initially, but were added to it later.
Ram further said the BJP had also promised in the manifesto that it will expeditiously complete the NRC in Assam and actively consider its extension to other states of the country.
"And Mr Amit Shah, before and after he became (Union) Home Minister, has gone on record saying this (NRC) is going to be a nationwide project," he said.
Ram said the experience of implementing the NRC in Assam was a "horror story, a nightmare and a kind of harassment of the poor".
He said some people, whose names had gone missing from the final draft NRC in Assam, had fought for the country.
"The point here is that this is part of the Hindutva project. This is what they want 'Hindu Rashtra' in part, the progress of Hindu Rashtra.
"It is not merely a diversionary tactic although it may have that effect. But this, I think, has to be understood," he added.
Professor Gopal Guru, who too addressed the session, hailed the anti-CAA protest being led by women at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.
He lauded the demonstrators for using language "that's not aggressive and maintaining discipline while exhibiting humility".
"They are actually producing new politics. They are actually giving new dimension to politics. What a great gain we actually have achieved. Hats off to those people who have given us a new way of organising politics," he said.