Jamia Millia Islamia University turned into a battlefield on Friday after police and students clashed with each other. However, why is there such an intense tension going on? Why are the students on the street? Why so much confusion? India had witnessed many Bills and Acts being passed in the past as well; we had arguments and differences, but this time, things have gone out of hand, towns, and cities are turning into a war zone.
“Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, states to provide Indian citizenship to illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, and who entered India on or before December 31, 2014. The Act does not include Muslims.”– This is what CAA in simple terms is all about.
The point of not including the Muslim community in this Act has stirred the people’s emotion, stating that the government is being biased. People went about saying why this difference in a democratic country where equal rights are mentioned in its Constitution? What about the secularism?
Let’s bring out some facts which are being ignored and which is creating a lot of confusion and misunderstanding about CAA.
How did such a large number of immigrants enter India?
The first and foremost question which we should be asking is when people of Assam are claiming that the indigenous group are shrinking and more illegal immigrants exist there, so what does that mean? Was it only during Modi’s era or ruling?
While NRC was getting implemented, the opposition was claiming that India doesn’t have any illegal immigrants. Nevertheless, by protesting along with the people fighting for not including the Muslim community in the CAA, the opposition has proved their own statement wrong and made it clear that India has a lot of illegal immigrants.
Jamia Millia Islamia University Issue:
The students started protesting against CAA; a march was held starting from Jamia Millia Islamia on December 15 evening, which was expected to end at Jantar Mantar, but violence began soon after. The mob set fire on public property, and the clash went worse as both sides were injured severely. University authorities claimed that the police had entered the campus without permission and had beaten the students. As per the reports by police, they entered the campus only after the mob went inside and began throwing stones at them.
Following this series, people were found saying it was illegal for police to enter the campus, beat students, and detain around 100 students.
The basic idea is that people should understand if the mob hadn’t gone violent, acting against law and order by burning public property, the situation would have been much different. Police entered the university as students were allegedly taking law in their hands.
Media on December 17 reported, it was noted that among the protestors, there were ten people, many of whom have criminal backgrounds, have been arrested in connection with Sunday’s fierce clashes involving Jamia Millia Islamia students and Delhi Police. Cops also confirmed that the violators are not the students of Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Ant-CAA Protest Across Nation:
Following the incident at Jamia University, students from 22 universities around the nation went for protest and showed their solidarity with Jamia University students. While on the other side when students from Aligarh Muslim University clashed with cops while they were trying to hold a solidarity march for their counterparts at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia. Police were seen vandalising two-wheelers after the protest erupted.
Amit Shah said that students protests are being held at present because the Citizenship Amendment Act has just been passed, and the students haven’t studied the same in detail.
Amidst all this Supreme court on December 18 have refused to stay CAA’s implementation, and has scheduled to hear 59 petitions on January 22, 2020.
Apart from universities, general public is also showing their protest against CAA; this lead the government to issue Section 144 in various parts of the nation along with the shutdown of internet connectivity.
Anti-CAA protesters resort to ‘Gandhigiri’ in Jantar Mantar, by offering roses to police, stating police can baton charge them as much as they want, but their message is “love in return for hatred.” Lawyers were also seen participating in the protest and providing legal aids to protestors in case if they are detained.
Even in other parts of the nation, violent as well as peaceful protests are being carried out. It was reported that two people died after the police opened fire to control the violent mob in Mangalore during the protest against CAA on December 19–Congress demanded judicial probe for this action.
In Delhi, Swarajya Abhiyan chief Yogendra Yadav was detained while protesting near Red Fort. While in Bangalore, Ramachandra Guha, a pre-eminent biographer of Mohandas K. Gandhi and a critic of the citizenship law, was midsentence in conversing with a reporter when helmeted police officers carrying sticks grabbed his arms and pulled him away. Around 1200 protestors were detained in Delhi while protesting for the scrapping of CAA.
On December 20, in many parts of Delhi’s internet services as well as some metro stations were shut down in the state due to protests. RAF was also deployed near Jaffrabad. In Uttar Pradesh, internet services were shut down in 15 districts, including capital Lucknow. Red alerts were issued in Aligarh.
The death toll dated as per December 21 in Uttar Pradesh was 11, and many were reportedly injured, as protesting mob turned violent–while additional DGP PV Ramashastry emphasised that only six people have died. UP police had arrested 200 people, and around 3305 protestors were detained.
In Aurangabad, Maharashtra, city police enforced Section 144 for an unusually long period of 72 days starting from December 21, after nearly one lakh protestors, went on the road. In Bhopal, around 13 police officials were injured in the brick-battling.
In many parts of the country, the internet services, schools, colleges, and universities are shut down, and officials stated that it would be restored after checking the situation.
AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi held a rally at Darussalam in Hyderabad on December 21–While addressing the rally, Owaisi urged people who are against NRC and CAA to put up a national flag outside their homes.
On Sunday, finally, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a mega rally at Delhi’s iconic Ramlila Maidan, where he stated that the Congress and ‘urban Naxals’ are spreading lies about detention centers in India and denied the existence of such centers. He accused the opposition as well as “Urban Naxals” responsible for spreading misinformation about the CAA and the NRC. He even challenged the opposition to review his work, and if they find even a whiff of communalism, then to bring the same the public. Adding, he said that since 2014, there had been no discussion held on a nationwide NRC. Assuring to the Indian Muslims, he said that NRC and CAA have nothing to do with them. However, there are many contradictions with what Home Minister Amit Shah has stated in the parliament during the winter session and what Prime Minister Modi said during his rally.
After the anti-CAA agitation rocked Uttar Pradesh, the Yogi Adityanath government in the state has started sealing the properties of those involved in the violence and damaged the public property during the protest. Several protestors in Lucknow have been identified, and notices have been sent to them by the state administration. Police have already sealed 67 shops in the violence-hit areas on the charge that the shopowners were involved in these incidents and incited people.
On Monday, the Calcutta High Court, in an interim direction, ordered the West Bengal government to cease all ant-CAA advertisements till the next plea is heard on January 9. The county is still facing silent and violent protest and rally. DMK with its allies and several other organisations took out a rally against CAA led by DMK President M.K. Stalin.
The spread of false news
Betwixt all this confusion, people came up with their own assumptions, and this creates more issues. Reports about two students being shot to death by the police during Jamia Millia Islamia students march turned out to be fake news which caused another set of a violent outbreak. After the incident, Delhi police and the university both clarified such an incident never occurred.
Several videos were shared by people who claimed that even police were involved in the destroying things — in the video, it was shown police destroying buses in Delhi and the vandalisation of public properties and vehicles across the nation. However, the Delhi police have categorically denied the gunshots and bus burning incident.
It was also noticed that people have been sharing images of previous protests and statements made by eminent persons in the previous years without verifying the details.
In various images, as well as videos shared by the news channels, showed that people who came for protest didn’t even know what they were protesting for.
The Muslim community is protesting as their leaders have reportedly informed them that they would be soon deported from India based on CAA. However, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has clearly mentioned that CAA has nothing to do with the Indian Muslims.
In the midst all this chaos, people came up with their assumptions which worsened the situation.
Actions of Opposition parties:
The opposition has been protesting since the bill was passed, as they believe the Act is anti-constitutional. However, the cases on the said Act have not yet heard by the Supreme Court of India. The nationwide protest resulted in the loss of public and private properties. According to some media reports, the estimated loss is over INR 1300 crores. When the country is already going through a slow pace of economic growth, who will meet these losses?
We all know that half-knowledge is dangerous, and when questions are being raised upon the government, one must wait for answers. As per CAA 2019, it is not mentioned anywhere that Indian Muslims will be sent out of India. We request one to have complete knowledge about the situation before protesting. Just for the sake, do not get involved in any violent protest.
However, one can protest, but that has to be in the purview of law, the violent protest will only lead the influential people to shut you down.