Rutgers Students, Faculty Organize Protest Over India’s Citizenship Amendment Act


Truschke said the event was organized to stand in solidarity with individuals in India, including those who have been attacked at three major universities in India, including Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia University and Aligarh Muslim University. Truschke said she thinks this bill proliferates the inflammatory treatment and marginalization that Muslims are already experiencing.

Rutgers has a history of social justice and advocacy, Truschke said. Rutgers faculty and students travel back and forth from India, making the issue even more relevant. Truschke also said many of her students are of South Asian descent, and this problem resonates with them and should also resonate with other University faculty and students.

“We have been thinking about organizing against the CAA mainly … after seeing what happened after Modi got re-elected in May. Things have seemed to have accelerated really badly in India, especially with things that happened in Kashmir and now with the CAA,” Das said.

Das said that protests started to take place around December 2019 in India. She and others decided to take action by preparing a protest at Rutgers.

Harshit Agarwal, a School of Arts and Sciences senior, attended the counterprotest. He saw the social media posts regarding the protest event and felt compelled to attend because he said he wanted to share a different perspective. Agarwal compared the CAA to the Lautenberg Amendment of 1990, which was designed to help Jews fleeing the Soviet Union. It was later expanded to include more religious minorities from other countries.

“There is a very direct parallel with the way the (Lautenberg Amendment) has taken shape in America and the way the CAA is taking place right now in India. But no one objects to the Lautenberg-Specter Amendments, whereas there’s this violent backlash against (the CAA) which gives citizenship to all of these people that deserve it,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal does not think the discourse around the issue should become polarizing and said he feels offended when people call him a nationalist. He said he does not think this act inhibits Muslims from receiving citizenship, and people are overlooking the thousands of people who benefit from the act. —

Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.


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