India, my adopted home, is looking and feeling very bleak today.
On a practical (& very self-indulgent) level, Delhi, where I live, is freezing, and grey and overcast, and I’m sitting at my computer writing this while wearing 3 layers of clothing, it’s so cold.
But it is the malaise sweeping the country, and the apparent police brutality, and the indifference of the government to what the people are saying – those are the factors making so many of us who love this country and live here (in my case chosen to live here) that is what is making us all feel so bleak.
Today is the 7th anniversary of the horrific Delhi gang-rape, an attack so brutal that it still resonates with everyone who lives here.
I’ve been sharing with you over the past couple of weeks daily updates on the country-wide sexual violence towards women.
And now citizens and students across the country are protesting the changes to the citizenship and nationality laws the government has just introduced – laws that are threatening to change to balance of tribal society in the country’s wonderful NE, and laws that blatantly discriminate against Muslims.
Citizenship being linked to religion is at the heart of the protests, which turned violent here in Delhi last night, when the police raided Jamia Millia Islamic university and attacked students.
Here are a couple of calm, unpartisan reports for you to read, to give you the background to the protests:
There are big protests planned for 6pm at India Gate (it’s 4pm now) & talk online of Section 144 being imposed.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of 1973 authorises the Executive Magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. According to the law, every member of such ‘unlawful assembly’ can be booked for engaging in rioting.
Things are grim, friends.
But thank God for the calm students of JMI, who are forming human chains to allow traffic to flow, and who are backed by their Vice Chancellor and their university.
Praying that the students stay safe.