Guest Post by Students Against Fascism in India – Bonn/Köln/Aachen
“We, the students of Bonn, Cologne and Aachen stand with the protests all across India condemning the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens of India (NRC). In particular, we condemn and are deeply disturbed by the police brutality unleashed on the peacefully protesting students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University. The police laid siege to university campuses, vandalising the libraries, tear gassing hostel rooms and firing water canons. Several students sustained serious injuries in this process and some continue to be in police detention. To suppress the protests the Indian government has withheld internet access in at least five states. We admire and stand in unequivocal solidarity with students and protestors across the country who took and continue to take to the streets protesting the unconstitutional and unsecular CAA and NRC.
The CAA, passed by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) dominated upper and lower houses of the government, offers Indian citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians facing persecution on the grounds of religion in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It blatantly discriminates on the basis of religion by specifically excluding Muslims, a first for the otherwise secular Indian Citizenship laws and constitution. This combined with the NRC, which is aimed at the disenfranchisement and detention of undocumented immigrants, equips the Hindu nationalist government of BJP led by Modi to institutionalise the ethnic cleansing of Muslim minorities by rendering them stateless.
We stand together to condemn the inherently communal and divisive nature of various actions undertaken by the Modi-led BJP government. We assert to not let such dangerously fascistic moves of turning a secular India into a Hindu nation go unchecked and call on others to do the same”
The following is a statement from the alumni of NLU Jodhpur, in solidarity with the students at the receving end of police brutalities in Delhi, Aligarh, Assam and other universities.
We, the undersigned alumni of National Law University, Jodhpur unequivocally condemn the police excesses in response to student protests at Jamia Milia Islamia University, Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Dibrugarh University, Gauhati University, Cotton University, Assam and other universities across India. As persons with training in constitutional laws and values, we recognize the significance of dissenting speech and assembly, and the need to preserve academic spaces as free from State coercion and militarization and to uphold the values of secularism.
Teri azaān mein nahin meri sahar ka payām. [Your call to prayer heralds not my dawn] – Allama Iqbal
The recent judgment of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions (NCMEI), favoring ‘minority status’ for Jamia Millia Islamia University, has generated vigorous debate. While it seems to me that most of the articulations have probably been reluctant in staging the immanent logics governing the entire controversy, I see this debate as offering yet another opening for democratic transformation within the Muslim community. While I will resist from taking a straightforward for/against position on the issue, it would be my endeavor to trace the discursive ruptures that instantiated the articulation around the ‘minority status’ for Jamia, and to indicate at the need to frame the Muslim ‘community’ now as a contested terrain with multiple sites of negotiations, cleavages and transformations.