india has gone flat-out nazi and is heading for a nuclear war with pakistan

Violent clashes continue in India over new citizenship bill
Hannah Ellis-Petersen, Groon, Dec 145 2019

Violent clashes erupted in Delhi amid allegations a new citizenship bill discriminates against Muslims and undermines the secular foundations of India, with protests over the legislation spreading to other regions and prompting Japan’s PM to cancel a visit to the country. Thousands took to the streets of Assam’s capital Guwahati for the third day following the death of two protesters who were caught in police fire on Thursday (sic – RB). The north-eastern state has been the epicentre of the protests against the citizenship amendment bill (CAB). A 48-hour block on both mobile and broadband internet was implemented, while schools were closed and roads blocked off, as demonstrators set fire to cars and tyres and a 10pm curfew was imposed on the north-east city. The bill, which was signed into law at midnight on Thursday, has stirred up opposition in Assam and across the country. Under to the new legislation, tens of thousands of Hindu, Christian, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan will be allowed to claim Indian citizenship. The same will not apply for Muslims. Critics have accused the BJP government of passing a law with openly discriminates against Muslims and makes them second-class citizens in India. Many have argued it violates India’s secular constitution and on Friday several petitions were filed in the supreme court on Friday challenging the constitutional validity, including by Congress MP Jairam Ramesh and Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra. A Muslim police constable in Guwahati, who didn’t want to be identified because of fear of a reprisal from the police department, said:

Originally I am from Uttar Pradesh but I have been working here for the past 30 years in Assam police. But in the last few years it’s been very hard to live peacefully as a Muslim. BJP has made this country a filthy place. They want to turn this into a Hindu Rashtra. Where will we go? Sometimes even I am scared even though I am in police.

The students of Assam have been among those leading the protests, including a mass hunger strike that began on Friday. Masters student Simanta Thakuria, who was among the organisers, said:

This bill has to go back at any cost. We will not rest until we get this done. Thousands of people have joined us, as you can see and it’s completely non-violent. We don’t support any form of violence. This is our state, our land. Not only in Guwahati but people are protesting everywhere in Assam.

In Delhi, protests turned violent after hundreds of students demonstrating at Jamia Millia Islamia university were fired at with teargas by police with batons, who tried to push the crowds back with batons. Several students were taken to hospital with injuries while over 50 protesters were detained. Protesters set fire to placards in Amritsar and other rallies were held in Kolkata, Kerala and Gujarat, the home state of the prime minister, Narendra Modi. There was also unrest in West Bengal, with several trains vandalised. The state is due to be the first where a new national register of citizens (NRC) is due to be rolled out, which will require citizens to provide documents to prove they are not illegal immigrants. Following the passing of CAB into law, it is feared that only Muslims will be targeted by the exercise and be detained in their thousands. However West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, has vowed that she will not allow CAB to be rolled out in Assam and announced state-wide protests. Over 20 activists were also arrested in Mumbai for protesting the bill. The unrest led Japan’s PM Shinzō Abe to cancel a planned visit to India from Sunday for a summit with Modi. On Friday, the United Nations human rights office also voiced concern that the new citizenship law was “fundamentally discriminatory in nature” by excluding Muslims and called for it to be reviewed.

India adopts Hindu-supremacist citizenship law
Rohantha De Silva, Keith Jones, WSWS, Dec 13 2019

In the face of widespread popular opposition and warnings that India is rending its “secular” constitutional order, PM Narendra Modi and his BJP government have rammed through legislation that effectively redefines Indian citizenship in Hindu-supremacist terms. Tabled in the lower house of India’s parliament on Monday, the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 or CAB was given presidential assent last night. Passage of the CAB sets the stage for the BJP to proceed with its plans to draw up a National Register of Citizens (NRC) under which all of India’s more than 1.3 billion residents will have to prove to the authorities’ satisfaction that they are Indian citizens. Those unable to do so will be declared stateless and subject to detention and expulsion. The NRC’s ostensible purpose is to identify “illegal immigrants.” In truth, the aim of the NRC will be to harass, intimidate and victimize India’s Muslim minority, and the CAB makes this manifestly evident. The BJP is cynically trying to dress up the CAB as an act of “compassion and brotherhood,” in Modi’s words. The CAB grants Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India prior to 2015, on the grounds that Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, and Christians in those countries have been subject to religious persecution. Conspicuously left off the list are members of minority Muslim groups who are victims of state discrimination and/or communal violence, such as Pakistan’s Ahmadiyas or Afghanistan’s Hazaras. Also notably absent are the Rohingya, more than one million of whom had to flee Myanmar in late 2016. The BJP government has held those that fled into India in detention camps and is deporting them back to Myanmar, claiming they are a “security threat.” Coupled with the CAB, the NRC’s essentially fascistic anti-Muslim purpose becomes clear. Given that much of India’s population is illiterate and impoverished and state services are limited to non-existent, hundreds of millions of people will likely find it difficult to come up with the papers needed to “prove” their Indian citizenship. But only Muslims will face the threat of being rendered stateless, with all that entails, for the others will be accorded citizenship under the discriminatory terms of the CAB. Indian Express columnist Harsh Mander wrote:

With its CAB, the government is clearly messaging that if people of any identity except Muslims are unable to produce the required documents, they will be accepted as refugees and given citizenship. This means that the real burden to prove that they are Indian citizens is only thrust on Muslims, because only they risk statelessness. Most Indians would find it impossible to muster the required documents to prove their citizenship, but only document-less Muslims will face the prospect of detention centres, or being stripped of all citizenship rights.

A foul taste of what the Modi government intends has already been provided by recent events in the north-eastern state of Assam. On the orders of the Supreme Court and in keeping with the terms of a reactionary agreement the Rajiv Gandhi Congress Party government entered into in 1985, to end an exclusivist Assamese agitation, the state’s 30 million residents were forced to prove that they or their ancestors lived in India prior to the Mar 1971 eruption of the Bangladesh national struggle against repressive Pakistani rule. Millions suffered psychological torment, financial hardship and official abuse as they struggled to “prove” they are Indian citizens. Not only did they have to prove their citizenship claim to the satisfaction of ethnically and religiously chauvinist Hindu officials. Under the terms of the NRC, third parties have the right to challenge an individual’s claim to citizenship. The All-Assam Students Union and other groups filed close to 200,000 such objections. Ultimately, when the “final” NRC was published last summer, 1.9 million people were excluded, deemed non-citizens, most of them poor Muslims. The overwhelming majority of these had been born in India. However, this outcome failed to satisfy either the Hindu supremacist BJP or the ethno-exclusivist Assamese organizations like the AASU. The former was angered that up to a third of those left off the NRC were Hindus; the latter that only 1.9 million of Assam’s residents were declared illegal migrants. Now the NRC is to be extended across India. Speaking in Monday’s debate on the CAB in the Lok Sabha, Modi’s chief henchman Home Minister Amit Shah vowed the government will rapidly move forward with the national NRC. Shah, who has repeatedly described “illegal” Muslim “immigrants” as “termites,” told the Lok Sabha:

Once the NRC is implemented, we will ensure no infiltrator remains in the country.

As part of the national NRC, and in accordance with the newly enacted CAB, the Modi government is also intending to redo the NRC process in Assam. Taken together, the CAB and NRC effectively reduce India’s 200 million Muslims to second-class citizens. Despite having implemented the reactionary communal partition of South Asia into an expressly Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India at independence in 1947, India’s Congress-led government rejected the demand of the BJP’s Hindu supremacist precursors, the Hindu Mahasabha and the RSS, that India be declared a Hindu nation. The 1955 Citizenship Act decreed the criterion of citizenship to be territoriality rather than religion, meaning birth in India or the pre-1947 British Indian empire. The Hindu right has always rejected this, claiming that India is a first and foremost a Hindu nation. V D Savarkar, the principal ideologue of Hindutva and hero of the contemporary Hindu right, argued that India’s Muslims were not true Indians because for them India is their “motherland” but not their “holy land,” unlike India’s Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. During the late 1930s, Savarkar urged India’s Hindus to treat Muslims like the Nazis treated the Jews. If he dropped such rhetoric during WW2, it was only because he and the Hindu Mahasabha were hoping to form an “Anglo-Hindu” alliance with the British colonial state so as to combat the Muslim “menace.” In according preferential treatment to non-Muslims from select neighbouring states while setting up a process whereby Muslims must establish their Indian citizenship, the BJP government has gone a long way towards realizing the Hindu right’s long-standing goal of asserting Hindu dominance, making religion and not territoriality the criteria of citizenship. The inclusion of Christians who migrated or fled to India from Afghanistan, Pakistan or Bangladesh among those to be accorded citizenship under the CAB is a ruse. It is meant to camouflage the legislation’s Hindu-supremacist motivation, no doubt with an eye to currying favor with the White House and the Pindo Christian right. Shah defended the concept of “religious-based” citizenship in the Lok Sabha debate on the CAB, claiming it “has been happening in India since the partition of this country.” Revealing more of his mindset than he perhaps intended, he also declared:

India will never be Muslim-free.

Since winning re-election last May, the Modi government has moved aggressively to realize key elements of the agenda of the Hindu right. In this it has had either the explicit support or acquiescence of the other institutions of the Indian state and the rest of India’s venal ruling elite. On Aug 5, working in close tandem with the top brass of the military and intelligence agencies, Modi and Shah carried out a constitutional coup, abrogating the special semi-autonomous status of India’s lone Muslim-majority state, Jammu and Kashmir and reducing it two Union Territories, thus placing the contested region under permanent central government control. Modi’s coup against Kashmir has been enforced with a security clampdown that has seen thousands, including much of the traditional pro-Indian Muslim Kashmiri elite, detained without trial; the deployment of tens of thousands of additional security forces to what is already one of the world’s most heavily militarized regions; and a months-long communications blackout, including the suspension of internet and cellphone service. Bowing to the wishes of the BJP and the RSS, India’s Supreme Court last month instructed the government to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple on the site where the Babri Masjid mosque stood until on Dec 6 1992, at the instigation of top BJP leaders, Hindu activists razed it to the ground. This crime provoked the bloodiest wave of communal violence since Partition.

Modi and Shah are systematically whipping up communal hostility against Muslims with the aim of channeling the social tensions produced by rapacious social inequality and a rapidly deteriorating economy behind reaction and a bellicose foreign policy, and splitting an increasingly restive and militant working class. With the passage of the CAB and its vow to rapidly launch the NRC, the BJP is dramatically accelerating its drive to transform India into a Hindu rashtra and reduce Muslims to second-class citizenship. This is giving some sections of the ruling elite pause. They fear the Modi government’s actions will incite mass opposition, discredit and delegitimize the Indian state, and destabilize key state institutions, including the military. Already the government has rushed troops to Assam, imposed an indefinite curfew on the state capital, Guwahati, and suspended cellphone service in ten Assam districts after mass protests erupted against the CAB. The protests are being led by Assam ethno-chauvinist organizations opposed to the CAB’s granting of citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindu migrants, some of whom were victims of communal violence. According to press reports, at least two people were killed and many injured Thursday when security personnel fired at protesters defying the Guwahati curfew. Having promoted communalism and casteism for decades as a key strategy for politically controlling and suppressing India’s workers and toilers, transformed the toxic Hindu supremacist BJP into its largest party, and attacked democratic rights, the Indian bourgeoisie and its political representatives are entirely complicit in the growth of Hindu supremacism and the putrefaction of Indian “democracy.” To defeat communal reaction and defend democratic rights, the working class must be mobilized as an independent political force, rallying the oppressed toilers behind it in the fight against capitalist rule and on the basis of a socialist internationalist program.

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