Arundhati Roy: Protests over India’s citizenship law give me hope

Alsiasi_Agencies

Mass protests have gripped parts of India over a controversial citizenship law.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) passed earlier this month grants citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, but does not include naturalisation for Muslims.

At least 25 people have been killed as hundreds of thousands rally in cities across the country against the law. Critics argue it goes against India’s secular constitution.

The law follows the publication of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in India’s northeastern Assam state in August, which excluded nearly two million people – about half Hindu and half Muslim – from the official list of citizens, raising fears they could be rendered stateless.

On Tuesday, India’s federal cabinet approved funds for a census and population survey that many fear could be used to build a controversial citizens register.

Acclaimed writer and activist Arundhati Roy joined in the protest in New Delhi on Wednesday, urging Indians to protect each other and guard against any oppression by Indian police and security forces.

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