One of the pictures that have come to define the protests is of three girls standing on a wall and addressing a sea of protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia.

How India is resisting CAB A story in powerful picturesPic by Sreekanth Sivadasan
news Protest Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 16:33

India is currently witnessing two kinds of protests against CAA or the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. In the northeast states of India, the protest is against the Act's implementation in their areas, as many fear it will cause a rush of immigrants that may alter their demographic and linguistic uniqueness. In the rest of India, like in Kerala, West Bengal and New Delhi, people are protesting against the exclusion of Muslims, alleging it to be against the values of the Constitution.

The protests erupted across the country after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by both houses of Parliament and received Presidential assent soon after.  The Act, which gives citizenship to non-Muslim refugees who escaped religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and entered the country before December 31, 2014, has been widely criticised. The amended Act has put the entire Northeast region and West Bengal on the boil as people fear that it might exacerbate the problem of illegal immigration.

Violent protests were seen in New Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia; parts of Assam are on lockdown; several peaceful demonstrations against the Act were held in various parts of the country; and more have been planned in the coming days across the country. 

While registering their protests, the protesters have been shouting slogans, singing songs and reading the Constitution as well. 

One of the pictures that have come to define the protests is of three girls standing on a wall and addressing a sea of protesters at Jamia Millia Islamia. But there are several other powerful pictures of the protests across the country that underscore why people from all sections of society consider the Act unconstitutional. 

Protest at Jamia Millia Islamia

Protest in Bengaluru

Protests in Delhi

Protest at Delhi's Jantar Mantar. Banner reads 'Save Our Constitution'

At a protest in Delhi

At Jamia Millia Islamia

Protest at Marine Drive, Mumbai

Protest at Shillong

The Citizenship (Amendment) Act does not apply to tribal areas of Tripura, Mizoram, Assam and Meghalaya as they are included in the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Also, areas that fall under the Inner Limit (protected areas/states near the Indian border), notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, will also be outside the Act's purview. This keeps almost large Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland out of the ambit of the Act.

People across the country apprehend that the move could be a precursor to the country-wide implementation of the National Register of Citizens. The NRC requires one not only to prove their citizenship but also their relationship to their ancestors. Following the NRC updating exercise, 19 lakh people in Assam were excluded in the final list.

With inputs from IANS. Images from PTI.

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