Anti-Muslim Laws Pose Bigger Threat Than Coronavirus: Protesters

Hundreds of thousands of people in India are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) announced by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. (file photo)
Hundreds of thousands of people in India are protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) announced by PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. (file photo)

If the Shaheen Bagh protest failed, more such cruel laws will be imposed on the people who will not be able to resist.

By Rakesh Raman

Although the Delhi Government has banned the Shaheen Bagh protest under the pretext of coronavirus, the protesters have decided to defy the government diktat.

The protesters assert that the protest which has been running for the past 3 months against the anti-Muslim citizenship laws will continue.

However, they have taken certain precautions such as reducing the number of people at the protest site and using sanitizers to keep themselves safe from coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19 which has been declared a pandemic disease that has affected the entire world.

Earlier this week, Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal had banned the Shaheen Bagh protest, saying that a crowd of more than 50 people will not be allowed in the national capital which includes Shaheen Bagh.

Protesters, however, argue that if Kejriwal really cares for them, he should send face masks and sanitizers for them so that they should continue their agitation without any encumbrance.

They add that the discriminatory laws – Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), and National Population Register (NPR) – are more dangerous for the people than the coronavirus.

This is the most crucial phase of the protest, as the Modi government has already notified CAA as a law and the NPR which is the initial step to make NRC will begin in April.

While refusing to discontinue their protest, the women protesters advise Kejriwal to protect all those from coronavirus who are living in Delhi’s dirty relief camps set up after the mass murder of residents in the pogrom that was stage-managed in February.

While Kejriwal has arbitrarily banned the Shaheen Bagh protest, he does not have any data to support his decision. There are hardly any test labs set up by the Delhi Government to know the intensity of coronavirus. Kejriwal has ordered to stop the protest with a herd mentality without knowing the real impact of the disease.

It is said the mortality rate in coronavirus is hardly 1% – which means that if 100 people get exposed, only one will die. Moreover, the effect of the virus is expected to reduce significantly after a couple of weeks in the summer months.

At this stage, the women protesters of Shaheen Bagh have hardly any other support because the publicity-hungry Bollywood artists and dishonest politicians of opposition parties have stopped speaking against the Modi government.

But Kejriwal has cunningly preferred to stop the Shaheen Bagh protest which is trying to tackle the real catastrophe that is poised to harm millions of people who are facing threat of incarceration in detention centers.

In fact, this is the most crucial phase of the protest, as the government headed by PM Narendra Modi has already notified CAA as a law and the NPR which is the initial step to make NRC will begin in April.

You should never trust those self-styled leaders who are suggesting that you should not give your personal details and should not show your papers for NPR and NRC. “कागज़ नहीं दिखाएंएगे” एक झूठा और आपको गुमराह करने वाला नारा है| These leaders have not given you any protective solution if you refused to give your details for NPR and NRC.

Moreover, at this stage, the women protesters of Shaheen Bagh have hardly any other support because the publicity-hungry Bollywood artists and dishonest politicians of opposition parties have stopped speaking against the Modi government.

If the Shaheen Bagh protest failed, more such cruel laws will be imposed on the people who will not be able to resist.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects.

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