Earlier in August this year when the Modi government took action to abrogate section 370 and changed the status of Kashmir, there were protests outside but many of the countries and organisations took it as an internal matter for India and the country's Parliament, but this time, the provisions of the CAA are so blatantly anti-secular and majoritarian that even the United Nations spokesperson had to come out expressing the body's reservations about the implementation of the Act. The US senate Committee belonging to both Democrats and India friendly Republicans are extremely unhappy at the provisions of the CAA and the foreign minister S Jaishankar had to cancel his proposed meeting with some US lawmakers apprehending that uncomfortable questions will be raised about CAA and the proposed NRC.

The series of developments in the last five and half years since the installation of the Narendra Modi led Government have given a jolt to India's stature as a tolerant nation belonging to all religions. The attacks against the minority community people by the Sangh Parivar supporters, the lynching of a number of poor people and the communal slants b y the BJP ministers have vitiated the social atmosphere. Now in the second term, emboldened by the massive mandate, the BJP leaders at first took action in Kashmir unilaterally and then followed it up with the passing of the CAB. The NRC is the next. The Government is desperate to implement the saffron agenda to build what the prime Minister calls New India.

The academics and students are agitated at this turn of India. Staff and students from three United Kingdom universities – Warwick University, the London School of Economics and Cambridge University – have joined the myriad voices from academic spaces across the world voicing their dissent against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.

They have also shown their solidarity with students in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, whose protests were were violently clamped down on by the police.

“The peaceful and non-violent demonstrations by students have been met with extraordinary police violence, particularly in Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, with recent reports from established media sources indicating that police and paramilitary forces entered university campuses and hostels by force and brutally attacked students. As a consequence, hundreds of students have been injured, some very seriously. Such police action contravenes both the Constitution of India as well as internal human rights laws. We call for an immediate end to state-led violence and for proper action to be taken against the perpetrators of it,” 50 students, staff and alumni from Warwick University have said.

They have also demanded that the “immoral” Act be revoked.

Close to 200 students and staff from the London School of Economics and Political Science have supported their colleagues in Warwick and endorsed their statement.

“The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, passed by the Indian Parliament on December 12, 2019, accords the right to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan in acquiring Indian citizenship. By the same token, it directly excludes Muslims from the process. Combined with the expanding reach of the National Register of Citizens, this amounts to a virtual denial of citizenship based on religion and represents a complete negation of the ideals of equality and secularism that are an essential part of the Constitution of India. We join students and citizens all across India in support of their demand that this immoral law be abrogated at the earliest,” the statement says.

Scholars, students and alumni at Cambridge University organised a protest and released a statement. Protesters read from the Indian constitution, as a reminder of what the country stands for.

At Harvard University, a large number of academics protested against the CAA. They have also supported the ongoing protests against the Act and against police action.

India is losing its moral footing among the developing nations as more and more majoritarian steps are being taken. (IPA Service)