A new Indian citizenship law based on religion has caused chaos and turmoil in India. Critics are saying the Hindu nationalist government was pushing a partisan agenda which conflicts with the country’s secular republic.
The law which passed through the parliament last week is facing fierce backlash. Under the law, religious minorities such as Christians and Hindus in neighboring Muslim-majority Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who settled in India before 2015 will have a path to citizenship on grounds they faced persecution in those countries.
The law does not make the same provisions for Muslims, which in turn weakens India’s secular foundations.
On Sunday Jamia Millia Islamia University turned into a violent battle ground. Police officers entered the campus to break up a protest. The peaceful protest quickly escalated as police dispersed tear gas to break up the protest.
100 people were injured and 6 others were killed during the altercation.
Najma Akhtar the head of Jamia Millia had this to say to reporters; “It is not expected of the police to enter the university and beat up students.”
The leader of the main opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, stated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was dividing Indian society through the citizenship law and a plan to launch a national citizenship register.
In a tweet he later referred to independence leader Mahatma Gandhi;
“The best defense against these dirty weapons is peaceful, non-violent Satyagraha.”
(Cover photo courtesy of Reuters India, video courtesy of YouTube and CNA, source Reuters)