On December 11, 2019 the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill turned into the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This led to large-scale protests in Assam and in Delhi. Both of them turned into violent altercations with the ones in Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University becoming international news due to the police violence that took place in the college campus. And the latest person to join the discourse around it is the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari.
While talking about the recent violence altercations between the students of Jamia Millia and the Delhi Police at a public gathering, Bukhari said,
“To protest is the democratic right of the people of India. No one can stop us from doing so. However, it is important that it is controlled. Keeping our emotions in control is the most important part.”
Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari: To protest is the democratic right of the people of India, no one can stop us from doing it. However, it is important that it is done in control, keeping our emotions in control is the most important part. (17.12.19) pic.twitter.com/rCAIucx9F6
— ANI (@ANI) December 18, 2019
While explaining the difference between the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) he said,
“The CAA is for those people who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh before December 31, 2014. They will be granted citizenship and it will not affect the Muslims living in India. The Muslim refugees who came to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will not get Indian citizenship. It has nothing to do with the Muslims living in India. While the CAA has become a law, NRC has been only announced. It has not become a law yet.”
While the reason for the protest in Delhi is clear as day (i.e. people are feeling that the CAA discriminates against Muslims), the facts around what went down over the weekend in the nation’s capital becomes murkier everyday. There are reports that 10 people have been arrested post the violence at JMI and none of them are students. In addition to that, 3 JMI students have been named in the police case for Sunday’s violence. So, it’s probably better to pay heed to the Imam’s words and keep things on the calmer side.
Cover artwork by Dhawal Bhanushali/Mashable India