Dissent and resistance across the diaspora against the rise of Hindu Supremacy and the Citizenship Amendment Act is necessary.
The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which is set to revoke millions of Muslims of Indian citizenship, has been met with resistance, but the same resistance has been stifled by police brutality and Hindu supremacist violence.
Dissent against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the majority seat holder of the Indian parliament and a Modi-led political party that vies for Hindu supremacy, continues to be treacherous. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, anti-Muslim violence is enacted by local law enforcement, who are accused of “forcing signed confessions and filing bogus criminal charges against thousands of Muslims.”
On Sunday, alleged members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), a student organization tied to the Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), entered Jawaharlal Nehru University dormitories and struck students and teachers with steel rods, stones, and even sledgehammers — leaving many bloodied.
While the CAA has not yet entered complete enforcement, it will require persons to provide documents that demonstrate Indian citizenship. While Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Parsi, and Sikh migrants can attain minority status in the absence of said documents, Muslim migrants will instead be subject to detention or deportation.
Rather than taking a strong stance against the rise of fascism in India, many U.S. based Hindus, like Padma Lakshmi, have chosen for their resistance to oppression in for 2020 to be the year that we stop saying “chai tea.” When met with backlash, Lakshmi moved to tweet of the CAA as a mechanism that establishes “a gradation of citizens’ rights based on faith, which violates the secular principles of the Constitution.” But, the larger trend of silence in the face of a repressive, Islamophobic bill persists, specifically among U.S. based Hindus.
Rather than remain silent, it is of the utmost importance that all of us take whatever action we can to fight against the CAA. Here are a few resources to become further involved in a U.S. based resistance to Hindu fundamentalism, nationalism, and supremacy:
- Attend or organize local protests through faith organizations, universities, and more. For example, Decolonize This Place regularly shares locations of protests in the New York City area against the Modi regime — first in relation to its repression of Kashmir and now in relation to the CAA.
- Write to your U.S. representative to take a stance on the CAA. Representatives Pramila Jayapal and Ilhan Omar have already criticized the anti-Muslim nature of Modi’s prime ministership.
- Write to your nearest Indian embassy to condemn the CAA, but beware that this may ultimately provide your information to the Indian government. Dissent is dangerous, but it is absolutely necessary when millions remain at an unfathomable risk of genocide.
- Do you have a considerable social media base? Use your online presence to spread awareness of the state-sanctioned violence against the Muslim minority of India. Violence against Indian protestors to the bill continues to reach barbaric proportions, and your attention and the world’s attention cannot turn away. For example, Deepika Padukone, a Bollywood actress, leveraged her fame and attended a protest in response to the JNU assaults.
- If resistance to white supremacy requires a steadfast commitment that may result in divestment from kin, then so does resistance to the Hindu supremacy. Your resistance cannot succumb to the gray; you either resist or you do not, specifically if you are in a position of privilege to resist. Islamophobia is insidious, and it must be met with daily opposition.