In recent days, thousands of Indians especially Indian Muslims have taken to the streets to express their anger at the new citizenship law, which they say discriminates against the minority Muslim community.
But it’s not just Muslims who are protesting. Most Hindus, low-caste Dalits, and Parsis have also joined them to express their solidarity and to condemn the legislation across the country’s 1.3 billion population.
These protests have also been very violent. Indian police said at least 23 protesters were killed during the protests.
#India: Massive protests rage across the country after Modi's govt passed a discriminatory law that violates the nation’s secular Constitution by making religion a criterion for Indian citizenship.— Minh Ngo (@minhtngo) December 22, 2019
Twenty-three people have been killed in protests since the CAA's passage Dec. 11. pic.twitter.com/YnDTNTPCpY
According to the law, people of six different religions from the regions of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan will be easily granted Indian citizenship but not if they are Muslim. Only the non-Muslim minorities will be granted Indian citizenship.
Due to this law, a large number of non-Muslim immigrants will travel to India from neighboring countries. In addition to Muslims, non-Muslims also opposed and protested against the new citizenship law because they are concerned that a large number of immigrants will arrive in India due to the law. A significant part of the recent protests was seen in the northeast region of the country.
People living in the northeastern states of India, where large numbers of Bangladeshi immigrants also live, believe that the bill will destroy the local culture and increase the influence of immigrants in these regions.
Consequences of the Indian Citizenship Law:
The most important disadvantage of the law is that it will establish a hierarchy among citizens based on their religious beliefs. In fact, the bill aims to introduce a hierarchy among the citizens. Accordingly, some illegal Indian immigrants have been given priority over others just because of their religious beliefs. Although non-Muslim immigrants will be able to acquire Indian citizenship, Muslim immigrants do not have that opportunity. According to statistics, about 20 million Muslim immigrants in India do not have identity documents. Although they have lived in India for decades, they are still considered non-citizens and illegal immigrants. According to Indian Critics, the country’s secular constitution has been undermined by the law.
The Indian Citizenship law was also stated in early 2016, but protests at the time revoked the law. However, representatives of Modi’s Nationalist Party announced in the Parliament that their government will not back down on the promulgation of the bill.