- Title: India's protesters cheered on by actors, artists and singers
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA (DECEMBER 19, 2019) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) PROTESTERS GATHERED WITH POSTERS AND PLACARDS PROTESTER STANDING WITH PLACARD READING (English): 'DEMOCRAZY' MAN SINGING ON STAGE WHILE PLAYING GUITAR AND MOUTH ORGAN VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERED WITH POSTERS
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 17:13
- Keywords: Assam Citizenship Amendment Act Guwahati India Mumbai Swara Bhasker Zubeen Garg cultural protest
- Location: GUWAHATI, ASSAM/MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
- City: GUWAHATI, ASSAM/MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAS7M8F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: With a voice known to millions of Indian moviegoers, Zubeen Garg crooned one of his old songs with patriotic fervour, but he is protesting against the government, not singing its praises.
Like many people from India's northeastern state of Assam, he's angry with the Hindu nationalist government's new citizenship law making it easier for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who settled in India prior to 2015 to obtain Indian citizenship.
"This is my fight, for my race, for my Assam, for my people," Garg said in Guwahati.
In most of the rest of India anger with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Citizenship Amendment Act stems from it being seen as discriminating against Muslims, and from making religion a criteria for citizenship in a country that has taken pride in its secular constitution.
In Assam those are secondary considerations. Resentment against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has simmered for years in Assam, one of India's poorest states, with residents blaming outsiders, Hindus or Muslims, for stealing their jobs and land.
In August, the state government left nearly 2 million people living in Assam off a list of citizens, though they can apply through tribunals provided their documents are in order.
While students have been at the forefront of protests across the country, and opposition party activists have lent political muscle, artists and performers have provided inspiration.
On Thursday (December 19), actors Farhan Akhtar, Javed Jaffrey, actress Swara Bhasker, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra joined thousands in Mumbai to protest against the new law.
Since Modi came to power in 2014 several playwrights, filmmakers, musicians, and comedians have complained that their work has been censored or cancelled following pressure, sometimes backed up by physical threats, from Hindu hardline groups affiliated with Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party.
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
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