Prime Minister Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has launched an awareness-raising campaign on social media to quell misperceptions about the hotly-debated citizenship act that critics say discriminates against Muslims.
The outreach effort, which started this weekend, would try to engage Indian Muslim communities by informing them about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already made an appeal through Twitter “to our Muslim brothers and sisters to first understand the CAA itself and then explain it to others.” Responsible citizens should “avoid rumors and know the truth,” they urged.
The campaign involves easy-to-understand videos and cartoons that feature Muslim characters, “answers basic questions on the issue and also aims to dispel the doubts on CAA and NRC that it is in any way against the Indian Muslim citizens,” as a senior BJP official told the media.
Earlier, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a similar appeal to the nation, saying that backlash the CAA have been “incited” by political parties “spreading rumors” about the legislation.
Adopted earlier this month, the CAA offers fast-track citizenship to persecuted minorities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.The legislation sparked violent rallies across India.
But Modi maintains it is only aimed at protecting vulnerable people and reflects “a culture of compassion.”
Aside from that, the government plans to publish the National Register of Citizens, that it says will reveal illegal immigrants on Indian soil. Meanwhile, some Muslim citizens fear that they could be made stateless if they don’t have the necessary documents, something the government denies.