Does India have immigrants
The protests continue, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows no insight. The head of government said that radical left-wing insurgents were primarily responsible for the demonstrations in several Indian cities. Most of the protests started in universities. Tens of thousands of Indians have been taking to the streets against a new naturalization law for days, mostly students and representatives of Muslim groups. In future, according to the new law, migrants from the three predominantly Muslim countries Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who have entered India illegally will be naturalized more quickly - if they are not Muslims.
About 80 percent of the 1.3 billion Indians are Hindus, but 200 million Muslims also live in the country. The religious equilibrium has been tested time and again throughout the history of India, but has never been completely undermined. However, many Muslims have not felt represented by the Modi government for a long time. Some Muslims who have lived in India for years and have not yet received papers fear that Modi's new course will drive them into statelessness.
In multi-religious India, the new naturalization law passed by parliament in early December has led to demonstrations in more than a dozen cities, some of which have turned into violence. Some of the security forces took massive action against the demonstrators, which also led to louder calls that police violence during the protests must be investigated.
The Delhi Supreme Court rejected the request that it should deal with an incident last Sunday when police attacked demonstrators on the campus of a university in Delhi, which was mainly attended by Muslim students. The authorities reject the allegation of an injured person that the security forces used live ammunition. On Wednesday, however, the Supreme Court announced that it would deal with the complaints of numerous critics about the new naturalization law in January.
Modi has so far reacted thinly to criticism. Above all, he criticized the opposition Congress Party for wanting to give all Pakistanis civil rights in India. The prime minister is addressing his Hindu fan base, which brought him a triumphant success in the elections in May. Pakistan has been the archenemy of India since the withdrawal of the British colonial rulers in 1947 and the bloody secession, especially on the political level, rhetorically, the tatters between the two nuclear powers are flying again and again - especially when it comes to the status of Kashmir, which both sides completely separate claim.
200 million Muslims live in the state - who have felt disadvantaged not only since Modi
The Modi government argues that the new naturalization law is intended to protect people who belong to a religious minority and have therefore left their home countries. But critics vehemently oppose this by stating that Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar and the Uyghurs from China would also have to be eligible for the reformed naturalization process. Muslim groups, opposition parties and student organizations criticize the fact that the law is the first to link citizenship and religion, which is contrary to the Indian constitution. There is also criticism from states that border or are close to the three countries named in the law. Local politicians, for example, are concerned that they could now face large numbers of new immigrants from these three countries.
The situation is particularly precarious in the state of Assam, which borders on the predominantly Muslim Bangladesh and which is only connected to the rest of India by a narrow strip. The authorities there recently carried out a census which, in the opinion of critics, was explicitly directed against illegally entered immigrants. Almost two million people in Assam were then initially excluded from the list of citizens, including Hindus. But especially the Muslim part of those affected now fear that they will no longer have the opportunity to acquire Indian citizenship.
A curfew was imposed by the government in Assam on Wednesday. The ruling BJP party initially supported the census in Assam, but when it became clear that Hindus were also among the victims, it distanced itself from the procedure.
The BJP has not only followed a rigid course against migrants that it does not like since the naturalization law was passed. Interior Minister Amit Shah, who is also the party leader of the BJP, repeatedly insulted illegal immigrants from Bangladesh as "termites". Speaking to business representatives in Mumbai, Shah promised that the government would adhere to the rules and curb illegal immigration to India.
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