I have been following the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which has sparked all over India. In conjunction with National Register of Citizens (NRC) Bill which the present government intends to introduce soon; it will become a draconian law which most citizens of this country will have to face.
It is 12 O’clock in the night and I am still awake (usually I go to sleep at 11 PM); following all the news which is happening about these protests.
Indians in general are very tolerant people. They face excesses of governments but don’t complain. They even tolerate inactive governments who do not hear to the complaints of their own people. They fork out bribes to get very mundane jobs done. But when it comes to tearing down of the very fabric of their constitution, I see a different kind of an Indian. Today when the government tried to push aside all the concerns of the people and passed a bill which is not necessary in the first place and against the constitution and spirit of our country; people of India have shown what they can do!
The movement started from Assam and North East states. Later it spread to different parts of our country. The earliest protestors after Assam; proved to be students from Jamia Millia and Aligarh Muslim Universities. Later it spread to almost all parts of our country and millions of people participated in these protests and have added their voices. The protests are hugely widespread. To hide these protests; the government shut down internet, detained thousands of people and put hundreds of people behind bars. Governments in BJP ruled states even imposed curfew over entire states of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh. Since many BJP ruled states are completely locked down and no news are coming out; it was difficult to know as to what was happening on the ground. But it can be safely said that the entire India was protesting!
I have watched videos of these protests. As far as I can see, the protests were peaceful and people were protesting peacefully. In BJP ruled states of Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh; reports of violence and killing of people have come out. Courts will decide if any protestors were involved in these incidences of violence. But my view is that the government and law enforcement agencies were implicit in these acts of violences.
Before this movement started, our government had already muzzled voices of our constitutional institutions including RBI, Supreme Court, CBI etc. There was not even a murmur even from Supreme Court when government suddenly stroked down Article 370 and put the entire Kashmir Valley under house arrest!
Finally people have spoken and how! The government was thinking that it has majority in both houses of parliament and no constitutional institutions can murmur; it can do anything they wanted. And they have been doing it one after another for quite sometime. People have been silent so far. But they have been watching these developments with open eyes. The CAA law and proposed NCR bill proved to be the last straw.
Now it is very clear that; no matter how much majority a government has and no matter if government of the day can muzzle constitutional institutions; it is people of India who can stand up and stop any government if the government goes too far in implementing policies which are against the values of this country.
I am proud of you my fellow Indian people!
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.