Indians hold fourth anti-CAA protest in the Netherlands

Marginalised women will be the most affected by the combined exercise of the CAA and NRC, according to one of the organisers

A group from the India diaspora in the Netherlands held a protest in front of the Peace Palace in The Hague on December 30 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

“The protest is directed against the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 and the gross perpetration of human rights violation against its citizens by the Government of India,” a statement of solidarity released by the protesters read.

This was the fourth protest held in the Netherlands, and saw over 50 participants according to organisers. An earlier protest, held on December 20 in front of the Indian Embassy in The Hague, saw over 250 participants.

Haider Hussain, one of the organisers and a filmmaker, said it was important to keep up the momentum and hold more protests. “We are against the police brutality and the combined effect that implementation of the CAA and the NRC will unleash. The least we can do is create some noise and hope for those voices of dissent to be heard,” he said in a phone conversation after the protest.

Another organiser, Ritumbra Manuvie, who is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Groningen, said, “When the government puts the onus to prove citizenship on the individual, a lot of the marginalised will be left stateless and disenfranchised.” In her doctoral work on the 2016 Assam D-voters (doubtful voters) list, she found 69% of those on the list were women from flooded areas. She said that women in marginalised parts will be the most affected by the new citizenship laws.

Sixty-year-old Imran Ahmad, the son of Subhash Chandra Bose’s military secretary Colonel Mehboob Ahmad, said after the protest, “India was one the few countries to establish a multi-ethnic, multilingual, multi-religious democracy, and was different from the singular nature of European countries. The youngsters are doing a great job in bringing activism on the streets back to preserve the idea of a secular India.”

Mr. Ahmad said the protests were a message to the government: “Do what you like, we may slip, we may fall, but we will dust our knees and get back up. You cannot change the fabric of what India stands for.”

“The protest before the Peace Palace is an active plea for the international community including human rights organisations and representatives of governments to take notice of the atrocities committed by the Indian police against protesters, the undemocratic CAA and NPR and [to] call on the [Indian] Government to refrain from internet shutdowns, communication blockades and curfews in various parts of the country, especially in Jammu and Kashmir,” the statement from the protesters read.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 8:46:38 AM |

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