Do not be fooled into believing that our government is unfazed by the protests that have spread like wildfire across the entire nation. They may try to intimidate you by their strong-armed tactics like curfews, Internet shutdowns, excessive police brutality or an open threat of seeking revenge but the reality is that they are completely baffled by the spirited public call for resistance.
The fact is that no one in the government had expected the protests to escalate to the scale that it has. They never thought that a day would arrive where ordinary people would stand up to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led government and call them out on their overtly Islamophobic agendas.
The protests have reinforced our belief in Indian democracy
To be honest, I was relieved to see that ordinary people decided to be counted and show up in such huge numbers not just on the streets but on social media as well and collectively express their disgust over the excessively toxic and blatantly communal Citizenship Amendment Act (an act which restricts citizenship for the persecuted based on the religion that they follow and the country they belong to) and the equally xenophobic National Register of Citizens (NRC) – (a legislation, which if passed, will treat every person living in India as an outsider until they prove otherwise)
The Home Minister wanted to ram CAA through the parliament and prepare the ground for NRC (something that he wanted to finish by 2024). Although he was successful in getting the citizenship bill passed, despite stiff opposition, just by the numerical strength his government had in the parliament. But then he met a beast that has gotten the better of him, at least for now. The Indian public. The same public which voted his government to power is now asking him, the Prime Minister and their coterie some very pertinent questions for which they have no answers. All that they can come up with are lies, lies and more lies.
They have the resources, we have the truth
The government does have an extraordinarily obedient and unbelievably supine news media by their side who is only interested in reporting stories that portray the government in a more favorable light and act as its public relations officer. It is no secret that the Indian media has played a big role in the electoral successes of the BJP over the last five years through their blatant misreporting, but that strategy has started giving diminishing returns as people have come to realise the games that our media is trying to play with us and are not willing to but their arguments anymore.
They tried and are still trying to silence our dissent by imposing highly undemocratic curfews and internet bans with the hope that protestors do not gather in huge numbers. But since that has strategy has failed miserably, they have enlisted the services of an overly enthusiastic baton-wielding police to beat up the protesters, arrest them without proof and detain them only to silence their dissent. But even that high handed approach has proved to be woefully inadequate as protesters are turning up in droves every single day, at a time when the chilly winters would have driven many of us into our blankets, the citizens have thrown them aside and instead wielded placards and posters and matched out in the open to let the government know that they may have won the elections a few months back, but their naked display of bigotry has lost them the support of the very people who had elected them.
And this is something that no government is comfortable with, however nonchalant they might appear to be.
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