New Delhi: On a day when protesters gathered in the thousands across the country against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, despite the police’s efforts to break the crowds, author and activist Arundhati Roy issued a statement celebrating people’s resilience.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act has been widely criticised as discriminatory against Muslims, especially when seen in conjunction with the Narendra Modi government’s plan to build a nationwide National Register of Citizens. Under the Act, members of six non-Muslim communities from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh – Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Parsis – are eligible for Indian citizenship if they entered the country before 2014.
“India is standing up. This government stands exposed and discredited. This is a day when love and solidarity face down bigotry and facism,” Roy said in her statement.
“Everybody has joined in to protest against the unconstitutional CAB and NRC. We are Dalits, Muslims, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Adivasis, Marxists, Ambedkarites, farmers, workers, academics, writers, poets, painters and most of all students who are the future of this country. This time you will not stop us,” she said.
While protests raged across the country, Section 144 has been imposed in several areas of Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and other cities. The entire state of Uttar Pradesh has been put under Section 144. Protesters have been detained Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad, and stopped by the police from proceeding with their marches. However, they have continued and re-assembled at new venues.
You can follow The Wire’s live coverage of the the protests here.