The Citizenship Amendment Act was the most controversial take among the many repugnant and discriminatory laws passed by Narendra Modi lead NDA government against the people. It was a hegemonic sacrilege move to set 'religion' as the basis of citizenship in India.
The government defined this amendment as a legal remedy by providing Indian citizenship for those in the neighbouring countries confronting religious discrimination. But the brutal intention behind this law was crystal clear. There had been massive public rage against this amendment and the protests against the bill became the strongest one that the country has witnessed in recent times. The agitations which began in the north east states later stormed intensely all over the country as the protests were taken over by the students of Jamia Millia Islamia.
One year has fallen off, since the Hindutva Government and their propaganda tried to step off the Muslim Community from their citizenship and dislodge them from the country. Since then,the country has witnessed the protests and means of inexorable resistance which the nation has never ever seen in its history.
Following this, the Centre also repeatedly terrorized and blackmailed the people that they will also enact NRC soon. That is to prepare the National register of citizens and expel those whom the Central Government find as 'Migrants'.
There is no need of exertion to confirm the identity of those 'to be ousted as migrants', particularly when saffron party is ruling, who are euphoric in following the Sangh Parivar preceptor Golvakar and his declaration of Muslims as their prime foes.
With the sanctioning of the new citizenship law, the flame of resistance disseminated rapidly all over the country. The first sets of protests took place in the north-eastern states, and then in Delhi. Later on, the protests took place all across the country.
The roles that the student leaders and protestors of Jamia Milia and Aligarh Universities have played in the protests and the torments they received for the resistance which they are still going through are irreplaceable.
Last year,on December 13 and 15, Protests and agitations reached their peak in these Universities. Jamia Milia Islamia students Ayisha Renna, Ladeeda Farzana and Shaheen Abdulla from Kerala, became the prime icons of Anti NRC and CAA protests. The names of Safoora Zargar who was imprisoned inhumanely even though she was pregnant, Asif Iqbal Tanha and Shafeeulla also will be embarked in the history of resisitance forever.
On December 13, the Delhi police restrained a peaceful Parliament March and fired bullets and tear gas inside the Campuses. Even students who were then writing exams also experienced fatigue. The Police Atrocities on students was so brutal.
On December 15, claiming an attack that happened few kilometers in the vicinity of the campus, the brutal witch hunt of students inside the campus by the Delhi Police forces remains incomparable. Even libraries were dismantled and students who were sitting inside the libraries were also not spared. Mihajudden who lost his eyesight is one of the living victims of Police brutality.
CCTV footages nailing the false allegations of Police, who claimed that they entered the campuses to confront the students who took part in the nearby attacks were also out and proved to be implicitly fabricated.
As the students also started confronting attacks, the heart of protests slowly shifted to Shaheen Bagh from the Campuses. People who protested by blocking the main highway had written astonishing chapters in the history of resistance. Mothers at the forefront of the protests also gained worldwide attention.
Such Shaheen Baghs subsequently sprouted like mounds all over the country. Mosques for prayers and Madrasas for religious teachings became protest centres. They turned to be an immense source of energy for Anti CAA protests.
It is inevitable to speak about the political interrogations raised along with the memories of Anti CAA protests. When the whole circle of Muslim Community thronged to the streets in protest, the secular India also shared its strength. But many could not digest the very visible Muslim presence and its corollary symbols during the protests. It was the Prime Minister Narendra Modi itself who first abused the protestors by accusing that they can be identified by their attires.
A group of liberal intellectuals who supported the protests but came up with the same criticism was baffling.
The protests in Delhi were headed by Bhim Army leader Chandra Shekar and the rally he pronounced was severely attacked by the Police force. Azad was arrested by Police when he staged a protest in front of the Delhi Juma Masjid and his arrest had lad to wide protests.
Prominent historian Ramachandra Guha was also forcibly taken into custody while he was protesting at Bengaluru. Chief ministers of over 15 states proclaimed that the state governments won't enforce the new Citizenship law.
Government was unable to control the protest when it becomes hugely en masse and Modi was compelled to vow to not implement NRC.
The movement which took the streets in shock lasted for many months. Public spaces, like universities, national highways, rural areas and religious institutions became centres of protest. The government went to its furthermost extent to suppress the people.
In the Delhi Assembly elections, the BJP launched its massive campaign by branding the entire movement in communal colours, and even when it did so, the results were not fruitful.
The kind of campaigns that BJP carry out included slogans that ask the people to shoot at traitors (Desh ke gaddaron ko, goli maaro saalon ko). The power fuelled by these violent slogans resulted in members of the Sangh Parivar arriving at protest sites with weaponry.
Finally the petition was heard at Supreme Court. Court repeats that protests are only the pillar stone of democracy and appoints a committee for negotiation.
Riot was the last resort for the Hindutva forces. Despite the hate speeches and provocative campaigns of BJP leaders were spearheaded in the presence of law enforcing agencies, BJP government has been hunting down the civil activists in the pretext of investigation.
By February end, journalists churned out numerous reports on the armed rioters and their "Jai Shree Ram" that followed. The rioters chanted "Desh Ki Gaddaron Ko Goli Maro Salon Ko" while setting out for the pogrom. The police, while not only being present, were also directly involved in the riots. According to official figures, out of the 53 who were murdered, 2/3rd of them were Muslims.
Despite all the evidence that was there in the open, the only investigation that the Delhi Police actually conducted was the white-washing of the BJP leaders who were the root cause of the violence that took place all over Delhi. The Centre even deported Justice S. Muraleedharan, a Delhi High Court Judge for criticising the Delhi Police for not filing a case against the BJP members despite all the videos that showed them inciting violence. But the Delhi Police has not even looked that way since.
Under the disguise of "investigation", the Delhi Police has only vandalised protest sites, detained students, protestors and charge them with sedition and horrific acts like the UAPA. The Delhi Special Cell even accused former Union minister of Congress Salman Khurshid, CPM Leader Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Yogendra Yadav and Welfare Party of India national president S.Q.R Ilyas.
Despite filing the first and additional charge sheets, the police say that the rioters are yet to be found. The police are moving forward with the sole aim of jailing every single anti-CAA protestor who has shaken the centre and its foundations, by attempting to intimidate them.
Despite all this, the Centre is yet to enforce the law. The reason for that is after one year of the amendment, the laws still could not be prepared.
Along with being an encroachment on constitutional values, this amendment is also a threat to the Muslim masses and their existence in this country.
Yet, the government is still moving forward with its heroic claims of enforcing this law. They claim to introduce the law and enforce it by next year in the wake of the West Bengal elections.
Many petitions challenging the unconstitutional nature of the law are still pending before the Supreme Court. The protest will be strengthened if the government dares to enforce this law, is the view that protestors go by.
Whether the struggle can be considered a victory or a failure, and whether the law would be enforced or not, we must always remember that the Hindutva forces are moving forward with their politics of hate and that it strongly taking root. Only memories that take in root agility can create the strongest resistance.