On 10th January 2020, the Citizenship Amendment Act  came into effect all over India. Debating about the CAA is a pointless exercise, since it is only a problem if there is a register to tie it to, and until the NPR starts, we really have nothing to go on regarding the legality, or morality of the CAA, in objective terms. We know we shouldn’t give the government the right to discriminate between religions, especially Islam, considering the track record that our leaders have with treating Muslims, but there is not much that can be discussed. What will be the eventual document that will decide your fate? You cannot know for sure. The government refuses to tell you.

The biggest problem currently, is that the government is not held accountable to the people anymore. Any dissent, no matter how peaceful, is met with extreme, over-the-top muzzling. Even Arundhati Roy has a criminal case filed against her, for just talking about civil disobedience. The judiciary is toothless, and actively refuses to interfere. Washington Post says “Democracy dies in darkness”. Democracy in India has died, not in darkness, but illuminated by muzzle flashes as protestors are shot dead.

The government continues to lie to the people. The IT cell is constantly churning out propaganda, but this is unnecessary. Decades of Indian schooling has led to the decline of critically examining the decisions that authority takes, and decades of propaganda has convinced people that it is actually Hindus who are suffering in this nation. As a result, people will blindly defend the BJP, and when facts quickly run out, they will call you an “anti-national”, or an “urban Naxal”. People defended the existence of NRC, when the government could not. People defended the detention centres, when the government could not. People are defending state sponsored terrorism, and cheer when students are beaten and publicly ridiculed for political gains.

The police have repeatedly admitted that the violence they have carried out against Muslims doesn’t truly have an element of proof, either before or after they attacked them and injured several people. They didn’t have proof in Jamia. They did not have proof in Muzaffarnagar. They will not have proof in the next wave of brutal attacks as well. Meanwhile, as long as the ideologies of our Supreme Leader are met with, they will look on, as people are brutally beaten in front of them. What both groups did in JNU is inexcusable. However, what the police did is worse, much worse.

We have become a nation that not only supports but glorifies terrorists. We looked on as people we consider our own citizens in Kashmir were tortured, for years. But we cheer, as our citizens in Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Delhi are tortured. Sadism has permeated the Indian consciousness, and this will be our downfall. Every time we cheer the loss of an innocent life, we drive another nail into the coffin of democracy.

Advait Iyer is a law student.


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