India is witnessing nation-wide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC). Such a scale of protests is unprecedented in India’s recent memory.
Indeed, we had not seen such a popular protest since the Anna Hazare movement 10 years ago. In fact, some of those who had demonstrated then may well be on the streets again – except, of course, those belonging to the Sangh parivar, who played such an important role in the Hazare movement, and except Anna Hazare himself.
What strikes me is the over representation of young Indians – girls as well as boys – in this movement, something we may also explain by the economic crisis as the youth is the primary casualty of joblessness.
And this feature calls to mind another comparison, with the mass demonstrations initiated by Mahatma Gandhi during the Freedom movement – non violence and civil disobedience were already the mottos at that time, and were already difficult to implement and maintain…