Published: 10th December 2019
#CAB2019: Why students across the country are coming together to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill
Many student bodies also issued statements against the Bill prior to its passing but many came out to the roads today, to show their disapproval of the Bill.
On the midnight of August 15, Jawaharlal Nehru read his 'Tryst with Destiny' speech and the country fell silent for the first time after decades of protests, fights and revolution. On the midnight of December 10, Amit Shah's Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed and the country has erupted in protests. Even as Shah told the Parliament that he had the support of 130 crore Indian to pass the bill, student communities across the country took to the streets in protest against the Bill that many describe as being the direct opposite of the country's Bible, Bhagwat Gita and Quran — the Constitution.
Many student bodies also issued statements against the Bill prior to its passing but many came out to the roads today, to show their disapproval of the Bill. Students from Jamia Millia Islamia took out a protest today yelling 'Hosh me aao, hosh me aao' (Wake up, wake up)'. JNU's BAPSA - Birsa Ambedkar Phule Students Association also called for a protest at Jantar Mantar against the Bill. "If Hindu Raj becomes a reality then it would be the greatest menace to this country. Whatever the Hindus may say, actually it does not make a difference that Hinduism is a danger to Independence, Equality and Brotherhood. We should make all efforts to stop Hindu Raj from becoming a reality," — the BAPSA had this quote on the poster they shared inviting students to protest against the Bill. The group called for the burning of the 'communal and unconstitutional CAB Bill, 2019'.
The Ambedkar Students Association, University of Hyderabad also issued a statement against the Bill but called it the 'delegetimising Muslims' Citizenship Amendment Bil' "The proposed CAB is another vindictive act of further criminalising Muslims, in the name of providing refuge to persecuted minorities. Muslims and Dalit Bahujans have always been treated as second class citizens. We would like to assert at this point that we have built this country and we the only legitimised stakeholders to define and redefine what 'citizenship; means. It is hight time that self-respect movements resist further criminalisation of Muslims," they said in their statement.
The JNU community which is already on the streets to protest against their fee hike are also opposing the NRC and the CAB. Former JNU student leader Umar Khalid has called for civil disobedience as well. Students from North East Students' Association, TISS have also come out strongly in opposition, "This bill seeks to fundamentally alter the idea of India and Indian citizenship through inclusion and exclusion based on one’s religious identity. This explicitly communal legislative measure with a specifically anti-Muslim positioning is a step towards the Hindu nationalist vision of the ruling party," they said in their statement.
Twelve students from the Delhi University's North East Students' Association Cell of the ABVP also resigned from the group in protest against their bill. The now-former President of the cell said that she could never support anything that was against Assam. Units of the Students Federation of India protested by burning copies of the Bill. Students from IIMC also wrote to the MPs appealing them to reject the Bill.
In Assam, the All Assam Student's Union and 30 tribal organizations calling themselves the Guwahati University ASU group and University law college took to the streets last night with torches to condemn the Bill as well.
Even as the country maintains an uneasy silence over the latest Bills that have been passed in the Parliament, the students are on the streets. However, JNU students were brutally lathicharged for the second time in the last two weeks. Many landing up in the hospital even yesterday but the students didn't get off the streets yesterday and were back there today. Could this be the start of a revolution?