LONDON: A meeting, sponsored by Stephen Timms MP, in the UK Parliament on Monday discussed India’s controversial citizenship law and the countrywide protests.
Lawyer and legal scholar Gautam Bhatia who is currently involved in the Supreme Court’s challenge to the legislation explained the brazenly discriminatory nature of the citizenship amendment act (CAA).
The potential for mass disenfranchisement of Muslims undermines the Indian citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution said, Bhatia.
Several British MPs expressed their concern about the legislation, its implications for human rights and potential for mass disenfranchisement of Muslims, and the situation in India more generally.
Announcing the UK release of a jury report from the People’s Tribunal on State Action in Uttar Pradesh (India), she noted that it documented appalling violence against Muslims by the police accompanied by armed thugs affiliated to the ruling party and that this was a direct response to directions from the Chief Minister Yogi Adiyanath who had called for ‘revenge’ to be carried out against the Muslim community for protesting.
Earlier on January 16, standing on a stage in the center of one of India’s most prestigious universities, a firebrand politician looked out at the cheering supporters before him and issued a sharp challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“The idea of India is under threat,” said Kanhaiya Kumar, a leftist politician from the northeastern state of Bihar, his voice rising in the cold evening air. “We will not stop. Let the government use force. Let them bring the police.” He paused. “We will rise to prove them wrong. Listen, Modi!”
“Freedom!” the crowd chanted after each line Kumar said from the stage, jabbing his hand in the air for emphasis and occasionally fingering the red scarf slung around his neck.