India

Repression over the Massive Protest Against CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019)

Badre Alam Khan, Wakeel Ahmed and Wasim Ahsan

Since the BJP government has passed the CAB, the movement against the Bill broke out spontaneously resonating at the nation-wide and became a ‘Pan-Indian’ movement. In this respect, against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act), the massive protests and agitations are incessantly occurring at various places such as Assam (North East), UP, Kerala, Mumbai, Bengal and Bihar etc. It is vital to note that students have been playing a leading role from JMI, AMU, JNU, DU, and HCU against the CAA. The Jamia as a whole fraternity, like teachers, students, women and staff and alumni are effectively reviving its reach and inclusive legacy that was relentlessly fought against the colonial masters. 

While fighting against the CAA, once again the Jamia fraternity has strongly and unitedly condemned and have come forward to save the ‘Idea of India’ which is based on progressive values like, diversity, pluralism, composite culture (Ganga Jamuni Tahzeeb), secularism, inclusive and humanistic vision of citizenship. Before coming to the mode of protests and struggle, let us understand the concept of Citizenship.

Understanding the concept of citizenship

As theorists of citizenship have argued that the idea of citizenship should be based on civic virtues and democratic values rather than confine to ethnicity, religion, race, gender and other sectarian/primordial identities. The Indian concept of citizenship is also based on the humanistic and democratic values which emerged during the anti-colonial struggle (It was fought by the Hindus, Muslims and others shoulder to shoulder) and duly enshrined in our secular constitution. 

It is unfortunate that the BJP has completely uprooted by passing the CAB, mainly that values which were championed and cherished by the founding fathers like, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Ambedkar, Maulana Ali Jauhar, Maulana Azad, and Dr Zakir Husain. In short, the CAA is fundamentally antithetical to the basic structure of the Indian constitution consisting of equality, justice, fraternity and secularism, freedom and human rights.

Since the Bill has been passed by the Indian Parliament, as a result, discontents and anger amongst the masses have spurred out and massive protests, demonstrations, Dharnas, (in the form of civil disobedience and non-violence) across the nation. These protests against the CAA are being largely carried out by all sections of society irrespective of caste, class, gender and religion. The ongoing protests against the said Bill are now widely acquired the ‘Pan-Indian’ character. Given the intensity and gravity of saddening situations, the international humanitarian organizations including the UNO have also termed this Act namely the CAA is discriminatory in nature and violates the basic human rights norms and directly targeting Indian Muslims.

The Delhi Police have forcefully entered the university campus without any permission of university administration (as the Chief Proctor of Jamia has officially tweeted) and started bullet firing on students of JMI as a result, some students have been brutally beaten and innumerable students severely got injured. And situations of Jamia and its vicinity are still extremely tense and diabolical. The Delhi police are mercilessly terrorizing the students and the masses who are protesting against the said Act.

The role of the Indian Judiciary

The Judiciary is the ultimate custodian of the Indian constitution. Seeing the volatile and polarizing situations of our country, Indian Judiciary particularly the apex Court should and must take a stern cognizance in this charged situation as soon as possible.   Therefore, we as concern citizens of India strongly appeal to the Supreme Court to immediately intervene and scrap the CAA. The civil society and public intellectuals including the opposition secular political parties now must come forward and stand with Jamia’s students in particular and Muslim masses in general for the sake of communal harmony and peace.

(Authors are part of Jamia fraternity.)

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