As 6 Things had covered here earlier, India’s Parliament has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill — and the country has erupted into violence. North Eastern states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Tripura have been protesting the allegedly discriminatory bill this entire week. Last Saturday, West Bengal joined the fray as violent protestors set buses on fire and stalled trains. And then on Sunday night, university students found themselves under attack as their CAB-related altercation with the police turned violent — leading to tear gas, rubber pellets, bombings, and shootings in campuses in and around Delhi. Cities around the nation that saw CAB protests in the past few days include Lucknow, Bhopal, Malappuram, Kanpur, Bangalore, Araria, Aligarh, Calicut, Gulbarga, Azamgarh, Solapur, Amravati, Hyderabad, Goa, Surat, Varanasi, Mumbai, Kochi, Bhagalpur, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Indore, Patna, Gauhati, Shillong, and Aurangabad.
Tell me more.
“Twenty-six injured students were brought to the Holy Family Hospital in Delhi’s Okhla after a protest march against the citizenship law held by Jamia Millia Islamia students ended in violence this evening.
Earlier in the day, after a crackdown to regain control over New Friends Colony – a posh residential area in the national capital – at least 50 students, who have been taken to a police station in Kalkaji, were detained after cops entered Jamia without permission from university officials. The police said they were doing what needed to be done to bring the situation under control.
In addition to the students, two firemen and four other cops were injured and one fire engine was damaged in the protests. The Delhi Metro has shut entry and exit gates at over 11 stations as a precautionary measure. The Delhi government also said schools in Okhla, Jamia and New Friends Colony, as well as the Madanpur Khadar area, would be closed till further notice.
Hours into the violence Delhi Police were seen rounding up students – one of whom spoke to NDTV and said she had been forcibly taken from a library inside campus – for detention.”
After Jamia, Aligarh Muslim University also found itself under attack after their protest against CAB turned violent.
“Hundreds of AMU students protesting against the amended Citizenship Act clashed with police on Sunday at a campus gate after which the university adminstration announced closure of the institution till January 5. Internet services were suspended later in the night.
Aligarh Muslim University Registrar Abdul Hamid said the police entered the campus late Sunday night and clashes were reported from inside. “Hostels are being evacuated,” he said.”
Tension prevailed in the area as police used batons and teargas to control the situation. Police have sealed all gates to the campus.”
Police also allegedly set parts of the university buildings on fire.
So, what now?
According to certain experts, this Act shows an “eerie echo of Nazi Germany’s claims to protect ‘racial comrades’ ”.
“The Nazis used moral concern over the plight of German minorities abroad to articulate a racialised national polity, where the unifying force of a shared racial identity transcended state boundaries. In the words of a pan-German theorist: “Blood is stronger than the passport.”
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the Lok Sabha passing the citizenship legislation by tweeting that the “Bill will alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years”. His tweet is symptomatic of the classificatory system of citizenship enshrined in the Citizenship Act being couched in an overtly moral discourse by his Bharatiya Janata Party. In his Parliamentary speeches, Home Minister Amit Shah emphasised the necessity of the law to provide rights, including the right to equality, for groups who have been subjected to “atyachaar” (suffering/oppression) by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh due to their religious identity.”
Keep your eyes on this space. We’ll keep you updated of this nation’s horrifying descent into communal politics.