Look into the mirror, you will know who is an Indian
The first session of the 3rd edition of Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters opened up to a great audience where author and politician Shashi Tharoor spoke about Who is an Indian.
Talking about the challenges the country has to face in connection the Citizenship Amendment Act, Shashi Tharoor said the centre's decision to push through the CAA with astonishing speed was widely criticised. He also said there is a history behind this and it goes back to the freedom rule. The bill is a fast track mode for citizenship.
Pushing through the CAA on religious divide does not determine your identity. Every identity has found a place and the selection of the three countries by the government for whom citizenship would be granted for non Muslims from that country is irrelevant, Shashi Tharoor said. He said there was no logical reason to select the three countries.
"The question of who is an Indian must be answered by looking into the mirror. This is the bitter political exercise masquerading as one of protecting the illegal immigrants. The issue of illegal immigrants is not properly enumerated," he added.
Tharoor also went on about the unwanted questions asked in the citizenship questionnaire and is happy on the Kerala government stand on going against it.
We should be able to evolve a society or civilisation that could take the difference for granted. Expressing solidarity with the protesting students of various institutions, Tharoor said that this is not an issue that could be settled in literary platforms.
Shashi Tharoor also quoted from Swami Vivekananda's preachings where acceptance is all about Hinduism. I have my truth and you have your truth. You will respect mine and I will do the same.
'The multiple identities existed within us and others must accept this. I define myself as I choose and nobody has a right to define me. If they don't like they can dislike me but they can't define me.' Shashi Tharoor concluded the session saying that belonging rather than by blood or religion defines who an Indian is.