The controversial citizenship law , passed by the Indian parliament in early December, has transformed the lives of about 200 million Muslims who live there into a nightmare because of the discrimination it contains.
This came according to a report reported by the British “Financial Times”, which highlighted the implications of the law that allows the granting of Indian citizenship to irregular immigrants holding the nationalities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, except Muslims.
The newspaper added that the Muslims in the country rose up and organized mass protests after the issuance of the new law that gives priority to non-Muslims from countries neighboring India, such as Pakistan in obtaining citizenship.
State of Fear:
The newspaper quoted Mohammad Aslam Khan as saying that he dreamt of returning to India to start a business and a family after a decade working at a Saudi Arabian supermarket. Now, standing between piles of jeans and T-shirts at his clothes shop in the teeming Mumbai slum of Dharavi, the 34-year-old wonders whether he made the right choice.
Ram Lakhan, a 60-year-old tobacco vendor, said there had been a fall in business at his stall, which he put down to people being worried and staying at home. “I’m feeling bad for Muslims,” Mr Lakhan, who is Hindu, said. “People are scared.”
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister has insisted that the new law will help persecuted religious minorities. But it has sparked outrage among many in India, including moderate Hindus, who argue it weakens India’s secular foundations.
Many in India’s Muslim minority, which make up about 14 per cent of the population, view it as a potential existential threat.
Sexual Assaults and Torture:
The newspaper stressed that Muslim protestors were subjected to brutal repression, sexual assaults and torture, after the demonstrations that took place against the controversial new citizenship law, in a situation that made the Indian government face the “greatest challenge.”
The protests took place in 56 cities across the country’s provinces, and huge numbers of Muslim students and citizens participated in it.
They faced a brutal police crackdown that resulted in deaths in Assam, Lucknow and Mangalore.
According to the newspaper, Modi and his party are seeking to replace India with a Hindu nation they dream of. But the writer explains that this endeavor is a nightmare that threatens Muslims and Indians in general.