Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 31 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has defined “an Indian”, by saying that, belonging rather than by blood or religion defines who an Indian is.

He said this while delivering “Who is an Indian?, speaking about the present challenges the country is facing in connection to Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) at the third edition of the four day, Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters ’20, that opened here on Thursday.

“The central government’s decision to push the CAA with astonishing speed has been widely criticised. There is no logical explanation to the logic of selection of countries of the listing of religion other than to put it crudely religious majoritarian bias now in these circumstances,” said Tharoor.

“The question of who is an Indian must be answered by looking into the mirror. This is a bitter political exercise masquerading as one of protecting the illegal immigrants. The issue of illegal immigrants is not properly enumerated,” added Tharoor.

“The multiple identities existed within us and others must accept this. I define myself and 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,” and concluded by saying that belonging rather than by blood or religion defines who an Indian is.

Inaugrating the four day event, Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, said Malayalam literature is making its mark globally and urged the writers to transcend above literature and have strong and independent opinions.

“The Artist should be an Artivist, if he doesn’t do that the freedom of expression will be lost in due course. He should have a multi-cultural thought process, reading will exist only of there is space for independent ideas,” said Vijayan.

–IANS

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