- From UMASS and Five Colleges
We, the undersigned members and alumni of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and the Five College Area write in solidarity and support of the protests in India and elsewhere against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, and express our complete rejection of this act.
We are deeply concerned about the violence against students in India’s universities, particularly at Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi and at Aligarh Muslim University. The crackdown on universities has produced shocking images of violence, including tear-gassing hostel rooms and libraries, brutal and illegal violence in police detention, communally charged comments against students, and assault on female protestors. We condemn both the illegal crackdown on dissent, and the particularly communal and gendered nature of this crackdown, unequivocally support and admire the protesters who continue to take to the streets.
We are also extremely dismayed by the ongoing repression in the states of North-East India and Kashmir, and call on the Indian state to cease its internet shut-down. While this internet shut down has made communications and precise reports of the situation on the ground difficult, the news that has filtered through, regarding repression of protests in Tripura, Manipur, Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh is extremely troubling. In this light, we also express our serious concern over the recent detainment and torture of Assam activist Akhil Gogoi, a sustained and vocal critic of the Citizenship Amendment Bill/Act, under the UAPA and NIA acts.
2. From students, faculty and alumni of Syracuse University, Hamilton College, Colgate University, SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry and Ithaca College, and the broader Central New York community.
As members of the Central New York community concerned about the brutal police violence against students at Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, two public universities with a predominantly Muslim minority student body, we join millions of students in at least 15 cities across India to express our solidarity with students protesting the Bharatiya Janata party’s
anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019.
#SOSJamiaAMU and #RejectCAA represent the grassroots student movement protesting the CAA, recently passed by the upper and lower houses of the Indian parliament. The CAA grants
Indian citizenship to non-Muslim persecuted minorities seeking refuge in India from selected neighboring countries. This combined with the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC),
which is aimed at the disenfranchisement and detention of undocumented immigrants, equips the Hindu nationalist government to institutionalize ethnic cleansing of Muslim minorities. This systematic targeted violence is carried alongside increasing instances of lynchings of Muslims and caste-oppressed people. Further, the seemingly spontaneous resistance to the CAA out of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia must be understood with respect to the history of these two universities as post-Partition Muslim-serving institutions.