- Title: Indian Muslims wave national flag to show protest is not anti-India
- Date: 23rd December 2019
- Summary: NEW DELHI, INDIA (DECEMBER 22, 2019) (ANI - NO USE INDIA) PROTESTERS SINGING HINDI PATRIOTIC SONG
- Embargoed: 6th January 2020 14:20
- Keywords: Afghanistan Bangladesh Citizenship Amendment Act Citizenship Law Hindu Muslims New Delhi Pakistan
- Location: NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, KARNATAKA, INDIA
- City: NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, KARNATAKA, INDIA
- Country: India
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA002BB74ABZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Indian Muslims protesting against a citizenship law which they say is discriminatory are carrying national flags and copies of the constitution, aiming to prevent supporters of the Hindu nationalist government from painting them as anti-India.
The protesters wear Muslim caps and many of the women wear the hijab headscarves, but they also sing national songs, read out sections of the constitution and carry pictures of independence hero Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar, who led the drafting of the constitution.
"Our country has a unity in diversity. People of different religions leave here together and it is known for this in the world. The national flag also shows that we are one. But what Modi (Narendra Modi) is doing is targeting a single religion and has brought this CAA and Muslims have been left out from that," said a protester and medical student, Irshad from New Dlehi on Monday (December 23).
At least 21 people have died in the protests against the new citizenship law and a planned national register of citizens, which protesters say contravene the secular constitution and discriminate against Muslims.
The law gives non-Muslim minorities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who fled to India before 2015 a pathway to citizenship. It does not apply to Muslims.
India's Muslims, who form about 14% of the Hindu-majority country's 1.3 billion people, say they are often called anti-national and Pakistani. Muslim Pakistan was carved out of British colonial India when the countries gained independence in their bloody 1947 partition and have since fought three wars.
Protesters say displays of patriotism help dispel the notion that protests are a Muslim issue. Tens of thousands of Hindus have also joined.
The demonstrations across India are the biggest challenge to Modi since he first came to power in 2014.
Modi himself appeared to make a veiled allusion to Muslims resorting to violence during the protests.
Muslim protesters at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi said that police who stormed the campus on Dec. 15 with tear gas and batons called them "Pakistani citizens" and "Islamic militants".
- Copyright Holder: ANI (India)
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.