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28 March 2020

The fascist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government led by Narendra Modi, the political front of the fascist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or “Nationalist Volunteer Force”) has speeded up efforts to undermine the present citizenship rights based on the 1955 Citizenship Act, which ensures citizenship to all residents and to all born in the country. In the name of helping refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have migrated due to religious discrimination, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was adopted by parliament on 12th December, 2019, giving citizenship to all refugees who have entered India till 2015, except Muslims, from these countries, violating the secular principles of the Constitution.

According to an earlier amendment to the 1955 Citizenship Act, adopted during the earlier BJP government of 1999-04, the Modi government has issued orders to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) from 1st April to 30th September 2020, and a new National Register of Citizenship (NRC) based on the CAA. Under the NPR survey all citizens shall be asked to give their details as well as of the parents including papers of land/houses owned by them. Those who do not have such papers will be called “Doubtful Citizens” (DCs). Not only majority of the Muslims, but the scheduled castes (Dalits) and scheduled tribes (Adivasis) along with other backward sections are landless and houseless, illiterate, who migrate to new areas of work frequently. They have very few records and most of accepted records like passports, voter ids etc have been held to be ineligible for proof of citizenship. It is estimated that 200 million may become DCs when the NPR is made. They will be given 3 months time to prove their citizenship before the Foreigners’ Tribunals. In this almost all will fail, as happened recently in Assam, where an NRC was prepared.

Then the CAA will ensure that Muslims noted as DCs will lose citizenship. The others, the Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Budhists, Parsis and Christians, can get citizenship based on CAA, if they prove they migrated from Pakistan, Afghanistan or Bangladesh due to religious persecution, which 99% of them cannot prove. So, in this first phase of the communal, ethnic cleansing nearly 200 million people, half of them Muslims will become stateless. They will be thrown into Detention Camps being constructed all over India. This is in keeping with the RSS dream of building India as a “Hindu Rashtra (Nation)”. It is a horrific development under fascist Modi rule!

Recognizing this danger, soon after CAA was enacted, students revolted in many universities. Soon, to give it a religious slant, the students of Muslim run universities like Jamia Millia islamia University In Delhi and AMU in Aligarh, UP, were brutally attacked by the already saffronised police forces which have already been subject to penetration by RSS indoctrination. Soon students of almost all universities and other institutions all over the country came out in revolt, the Dalits and Adivasis started coming out. All secular democratic forces with many of the non-BJP parties also came out broadening the movement. The women of Shaheen Bagh, Delhi, launched an indefinite peaceful massive sit-in from 17th December calling for scrapping CAA/NPR/NRC. It soon became a symbol of resistance, with more than 2000 “Shaheen Baghs” coming up all over India. As the peaceful people’s movement started becoming broader and BJP lost elections in Jharkhand and Delhi state assemblies, where Modi campaigned based on CAA and majoritarian Hindutva1, heavily armed RSS goons along with the lumpen forces they mobilized, organized a pogrom in the northeast of the capital city, Delhi, with the police and administration remaining  mute spectator as the Muslims were targeted, torturing, killing many, attacking women, destroying thousands of houses and shops, burning or looting their property, forcing thousands to flee to relief camps. Even after a week the police, the central and state governments and the judiciary has not shown the necessary concern to help them. The Modi government is trying to target Muslims and to create atmosphere of state terror and fear to suppress the people’s resistance and to impose the CAA/NPR/NRC at any cost.  The CPI(ML) Red Star along with numerous other forces actively involved in the movement are mobilizing the masses to boycott the NPR. If the NPR is not blocked a humanitarian tragedy of colossal magnitude shall ravage India  under the fascist rule guided by the RSS,

Already the Indian Diaspora around the world have come out against this communal, ethnic cleansing under the pretext of NPR/NRC. Many governments across the world and democratic forces have expressed concern. The UN Commissioner for Human Affairs is trying to intervene in the Supreme Court hearing on this question. But the Modi government is arrogantly trying to deflect international public opinion claiming it is India’s internal question!

In this grave situation, the ICOR strongly condemns this large scale communal, ethnic cleansing by the Modi government leading to tens of millions of people including large number of religious minorities, mainly Muslims, and oppressed people becoming deprived of citizenship and thrown to Detentions Camps. ICOR supports the ongoing people’s resistance against it and calls upon all its constituent organizations to extend support to the people of India at this critical juncture.

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Kabeer Katlat

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