People in all of India have taken to the streets to protest the Citizens Amendment Act this week. In Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Meghalaya, Maharashtra and parts of other states in India, people protested the bill.
Police has met the protests with repression, using water cannons and jailing many of the protesters. In many places, the internet has been shut down and in parts of the countries, curfews have been imposed. The protests, that have been going for over a week continue to the 21. december. In Uttar Pradesh alone, 14 people have been killed.
The new Citizen Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens aim to create new criterias, like religion, for citizenship. While the bill is marketed for bringing many refugees the right to citizenship, this is only true for some, like Hindu refugees from Pakistan. For many, like the Bangladeshi immigrants in Assam, or the Sri Lankan Tamil immigrants, it means loosing citizenship, or any hope to get it.
According to the Indian magazine scroll, the government appeared to soften its stance on the National Register of Citizens late on Friday. Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi denied altogether that the government plans to implement the register nationwide.
This Bill is yet another antidemocratic law, that promotes Anti-muslim racism, thus fitting the anti-people Interests of Indian expansionism and (mainly western) imperialism. The justified protests are a strong counter-punch against this attack of the Indian ruling classes and their imperialist masters.