Why we must defend India’s democracy – By Abeer Dahiya
University students have been at the forefront of the protests and thereby a prime target for the Indian police and partisan mobs, which have raided campuses and dorms, arrested students and professors and shot at peaceful demonstrators, sometimes maiming or killing them. The government has responded with mass arrests, Internet shutdowns, arbitrary detentions, incarceration in detention centers and deportations. At this time, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has stated that the law is “fundamentally discriminatory,” and the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom has recommended sanctions against the Home Minister of India, Amit Shah. This is not to mention the growing chorus of legal scholars in India and abroad that have stated that the law is unconstitutional.
Amidst rumblings of potential genocide, the United States has a moral and strategic prerogative in preventing the collapse of the world’s largest democracy. Make no mistake, India is the new battlefield between democrats and tyrants. And in spirit, Jefferson would be standing with Jawaharlal on the steps of Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, where a frigid winter has failed to deter thousands of elderly women protesting against the assault on their sons and daughters by their government.
When members of the academic community are threatened with violence anywhere, Stanford should not, and will not be silent. Hundreds of students have expressed support in staging a protest rally this Friday at White Plaza at noon, many of them in defiance of the Indian government’s surveillance-guided efforts to intimidate dissenting citizens. Again, India shall endure, and its deliverance aided with those three words: “We, the People.”
- Protests against the new citizenship law are constitutional, they seek to protect its basic structure – By Pinarayi Vijayan (Jan 18, 2020, Indian Express)
- We the people: how the country is reclaiming democracy, one symbol at a time – By Vaishna Roy (Jan 17, 2020, The Hindu)
- As CAA protestors reclaim national symbols, an echo of the freedom struggle is heard across India – By Rohit Chopra (Jan 19, 2020, Scroll.in)
- Who are the sons and daughters of India? – By Karan Thapar (Jan 19, 2020, Hindustan Times)