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Reporters - Indian secularism in danger


On December 11, 2019, the Indian Parliament passed a new citizenship law. Known as the Citizenship Amendment Act, it allows refugees who have fled Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan…

India has been rocked for a month by major protests across the country to protest the adoption of the new citizenship law, which excludes Muslims. Initially driven by students and Muslims, who represent the second religious group in India with 200 million practitioners, the protest now gathers beyond traditional political cleavages.

Many fear that the new law, coupled with the National Register of Citizens established in the State of Assam - a list which lists "authentic" Indian citizens - will be used to withdraw Indian nationality from Muslims.

The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi denies having such objectives and pleads incomprehension. According to him, this measure aims instead to come to the aid of religious minorities persecuted in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan for religious reasons. An answer that did not appease the demonstrators.

Since mid-December, at least 31 people have died from government repression. The pressure on the Prime Minister has never been higher. Is this the start of a real political turning point in India?

Our reporters went to Assam state, which is banned from access to foreign journalists, where more than 100 people whose citizenship is considered "questionable" are in detention camps. They also met students who are protesting in the capital New Delhi, and demonstrators who are in the sights of the authorities of Uttar Pradesh, in the North.

A report by Mandakini Gahlot, Alban Alvarez and Clément Laborde.

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Source: france24

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