Women Protest India’s Citizenship Law Hurting Muslims

A new citizenship law that denies Muslims citizenship in India has led hundreds of women to protest in New Delhi. Massive protests have taken place this month over fears of a national census or the National Registry of Citizens that will identify illegal immigrants.

The protests have become violent with 19 people injured and 25 people killed by police. The law seeks to exclude those deemed illegal inhabitants over legitimate inhabitants that include undocumented immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who belong to Hindu, Sihk, Buddhist, Jain and Parish religions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist government is accused of discriminatory violence against Muslims, with protests taking place due to a police raid of predominantly Muslim University Jamia Millia Islamia earlier this month.

“Besides being arbitrary and discriminatory, the proposal goes against the values of this country,” said Lawyer Seema Misra to Telesur. Misra, who practices the Hindu religion, currently represents hundreds of detainees.

Those threatened by this law will have 120 days to appeal their case to local courts and if their efforts proving their Indian lineage before March 24, 1971 fail, about 2 million Muslims will be officially stateless. Many muslims originally hail from Bangladesh, and moved to India to escape rape and conflict as the country struggled for independence from Pakistan. 

This law will not only withhold recognition for Muslims from in India, but also from Bangladesh as it dismisses the fact that many of its people have illegally crossed over into India. It will not recognize those originally from the country if they are deported back.

The Realist Woman’s take:

So basically, Muslims in India are being targeted. The right wing of India says they are worried about the influx of Muslims and extremism as their population has increased over the years. India’s Prime Minister wants them out but the entire country is outraged over this. 

Women have participated in protests to show their support for their fellow countryman and as you read above, you have a Hindu female lawyer representing those detained by police. Women are always going to be part of change and disrupting those in power. 

This whole situation is devastating for Muslims in India because for many of them, India is the only home they’ve ever really known. It’s similar to what the Dreamers here in the U.S. are going through. They were brought here illegally for a better life and are now threatened with deportation. It’s unfair and unjust.

And then there’s the fact that Bangladesh won’t accept those that will possibly be deported back. It’s a terrible situation. I hope the protests don’t stop and by some miracle, this census doesn’t take place because there's no telling what will happen to the millions of Muslims who call India home.