Citizenship Amendment Act : Factors behind protests

Published: December 23, 2019

Since the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 there has been protests country wide and post the event at the Jamia Milia University, the agitation has only intensified. There is a need to look at the factors behind the recent protests.

Factors behind protests

Firstly, there has been a new level of polarisation in the society. Today the debate is rarely on issues and their pros and cons. If one supports the ruling leadership and all its actions , it is seen as positive and in national interest. Those opposing any initiative are dubbed as anti-national. Those who take decisions based on the merit of the issue are dubbed as being for or against the ruling leadership

Secondly, the Citizenship Amendment act and the National Register of Citizens has led to much stronger reactions than the revocation of Article 370. While in most parts of the country it is the debate on the basis of religion, in the North-East, it is seen as an insider-outsider dispute.

The third point is the absence of the Prime Minister when the citizenship bill was debated. It left the Home minister to defend the government’s stand, where equation of partition with region could have been a tactical error. The debate lead to heightened tensions in the two houses which could have lead to the unrest.

Fourth is the involvement of youth after the developments in the Jamia Milia University where Police action invited a reaction.

Finally, the protest which is to be noticed may not necessarily be lead by the opposition parties, it may well be the overestimation of such forces and underestimating the segment of the society which is agitated.

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