On December 4, 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was presented to India’s parliament. It passed seven days later and was met with immediate and widespread protests in major cities throughout the world’s largest democracy. The CAA provided a fast track to citizenship for people of various religious faiths but notably excludes Muslims. India holds the world’s second-largest population of Muslims and they have increasingly felt isolated and targeted by Prime Minister Modi and the Hindu Nationalists who his political party aims to please. Many Muslims in India see this as not merely a single law but the next escalation in removing Muslims from India.
In the course of a month, more than 30 people have been killed in the CAA protests. Thousands have been arrested. For the sake of comparison, two have been killed in the Hong Kong protests that have lasted more than six months and garnered far more attention from the rest of the world. In some cities, police forces have been accused of torturing protesters, including children.
The Citizenship Amendment Act and its passage stirred up some of the worst sentiments among many Hindu nationalists in India. It also stirred up fears and outrage among the Muslim populations.
In today’s podcast episode JB Shreve is joined by Jonathan Webster and Jerusha Gittlen to look at the Citizenship Amendment Act. We discuss the historical context behind this policy, the fears, and discuss why a Christian should care about events unfolding between Hindus and Muslims.
Additional Read on the Citizenship Amendment Act
- Why Protests Are Erupting Over India’s New Citizenship Law (Washington Post)
- How Many People Died During the Anti-CAA Protests (The Hindu)
- India: Deadly Force Used Against Protesters (Human Rights Watch)
- History of India Podcast Series