THE Indian high commission in London witnessed protests against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Wednesday (18).
Students and representatives from the diaspora and workers’ groups took part in the protest programme organised by the India Society of the School of Oriental and African Studies.
The protests were supported by other universities, institutes, including the London School of Economics (LSE).
The protesters raised famous Indian revolutionary slogans such as “Inqalab Zindabad”.
They waved placards against the Indian government’s move to impose the CAA.
Some groups and organisation have already been protesting against CAA in India.
India introduced CAA in a bid to protect the minorities who left Muslim majority countries to reach India due to religious persecution.
Accordingly, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till the end of 2014 following religious persecution there will become Indian citizens.
The Indian High Commission in London gave an explanation on CAA through a ‘Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019’ document, addressing the various aspects of the new act.
“There has been a misinformation campaign. The CAA does not affect any Indian citizen, including Muslim citizens,” the government has clarified.
“It has absolutely nothing to do with any Indian citizen in any way. The Indian citizens enjoy fundamental rights conferred on them by the Constitution of India. No statute, including the CAA, can abridge or take them away,” it said.
Meanwhile, Harsev Bains, National Vice President of Indian Workers’ Association Great Britain (IWA-GB), said: “This hurriedly approved bill has at a stroke removed rights, especially from Muslim migrants. It undermines the basis of India’s secular democratic constitution.”
IWA-GB is an 80-year-old Britain-based diaspora group.
He further added: “We, as patriotic Indians, feel let down and angered that our great country, that led the way in diversity and tolerance, should act in such a manner. Refugees from all over the world have always been welcomed and accommodated in India. Never before has India introduced exceptions and exclusions based on faith.”
The protest in the British capital coincided with protests at universities across India since the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the lower house of the Indian parliament last week.
The India Society of the University of Oxford was among the groups to organise protests earlier this week.
Their protest on Tuesday (17) was held outside the famous Radcliffe Camera at the heart of Oxford University.