The protests against the new citizenship law in India have become an important tool the
politicians might use during the upcoming elections which are scheduled for February 8th.
After the Indian parliament adopted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) on December 15th,
the protests have not stopped. A South Delhi locality of Shaheen Bagh has become a focal point
for protesters and many find it similar to Egypt’s iconic Tahrir Square – the place where anti-
government protests were taking place.
Many specialists and citizens of India are convinced that the new law is discriminatory against
Muslim population as it is granting citizenship to all non-Muslims migrating from Pakistan,
Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
The protests started at Jamia Millia Islamia – a central university, where hundreds of students led
by women were protesting against the citizenship law. The protesters also barricaded a road
linking Delhi with the neighboring province of Uttar Pradesh (UP).
Since elections are just around the corner, many political parties are trying to get the best out of
the unstable situation in the country. Currently, the main competitors are the Aam Aasmi Party
(AAP) which is ruling the city over the past five years and the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP), which has control over the center.
Last week, Pravesh Verma, a BJP MP from West Delhi, said:
“If the BJP manages to form a government in Delhi, there will not be a single protestor at
Shaheen Bagh. They (protesters) will enter your homes, rape your mothers and sisters and
kill them. The people of Delhi have to wake up.”
What is more, Union Minister Anurag Thakur noted that “traitors should be shot”, implying to
protesters at Shaheen Bagh.
Later after that, a BJP candidate Kapil Mishra got a 48-hour ban as he was found responsible for
violating the code of conduct. Delhi Police also filed a case against him, for his tweet, in which
he is comparing the upcoming assembly polls in Delhi with an India versus Pakistan contest.