Many activists and former IAS officers like Harsh Mander have put out a clarion call for Indians to start a civil disobedience movement, a ‘satyagraha’, against the polarising Citizenship Amendment Bill and the proposed nationwide exercise of National Register of Citizens.
‘Will Formally Become Muslim If CAB Is Passed’: Harsh Mander
Mander said that if the Citizenship Bill, that cleared Lok Sabha with comfortable majority on Monday, 9 December, is passed in the Rajya Sabha, then he will officially register himself as a Muslim.
Senior journalist Nikhil Wagle backed Mander’s call for civil disobedience and tweeted, “I agree with your call for disobedience. But as an atheist, I won’t adopt any religion. As a citizen of India, I will fight #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019 and NRC.”
‘Will Go To Detention Centre If Declared Non-Citizen’: Ex-IAS Officer Writes to Amit Shah
S Sashikanth Senthil, former IAS officer who had resigned in September citing the clampdown in Jammu and Kashmir over Article 370, wrote a strongly worded letter to Home Minister Amit Shah, saying the passage of the CAB in Lok Sabha “marked the darkest day in the history of modern India.”
He wrote, “I refuse to accept the process of enumeration in NRC by not submitting the requisite documents to prove my citizenship and I’m willing to accept the action taken by the India state against my disobedience.
“If the state chooses to declare me as a non-citizen, I would also be happy to fill up the many detention centers that you are building all over the country. I would accept the incarceration with all humbleness than to wait at the sidelines as a mute spectator to the communal profiling and disenfranchising of my fellow humans.”
Many on Twitter joined the call for civil disobedience with the hashtag #CABNRCSatyagraha. Among them was activist and former Jawaharlal Nehru University student union leader Umar Khalid, who tweeted, “The idea that I have to prove my citizenship is an affront on my dignity & that of everyone.”
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before 31 December 2014 due to religious persecution will not be treated as illegal immigrants, but will be given Indian citizenship.