B2 High-Intermediate 51 Folder Collection
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"The US president has arrived in India."
"A lavish spectacle."
"...whole world watching the US president's visit to India."
A lot of the news coming out of India has revolved around Trump's visit.
But I know that there's a lot more going on in India at the moment.
Can you tell us what's happening in Delhi?
Right now, Delhi is in a state I would say of uneasy tension.
We saw a really gruesome 72-hour period of violence
that broke out between Hindus and Muslims in the northeastern part of Delhi.
Cars burning, mosques being torn down
People being killed and beaten, pelted with stones, and so on.
Around 40 people were killed in Delhi and hundreds were injured.
It is true that there was Muslim-led violence.
But when you step back and look at who bore the brunt, it was the Muslim community.
Why is this happening? What sparked the situation?
Since the Modi government came back to power in May of 2019
it has moved with a real sense of urgency and a clarity of purpose
towards enacting a kind of pro-Hindu agenda.
The most recent thing it has done is enacted this citizenship amendment bill.
So what the bill does is it provides expedited citizenship
to illegal migrants who end up in India
from one of three neighboring countries, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan,
if those people belong to essentially any religious community other than Islam.
Immediately we saw protests in the streets primarily from Muslims.
So why is this bill so controversial?
This was seen as actually a prelude to an even larger initiative
to create a national register of Indian citizens.
Many Indian citizens whose families have lived there for generations,
they don't actually have the documents to help them prove their citizenship.
So you can imagine a scenario where both Hindus and Muslims cannot prove their citizenship.
But Hindus will be given a kind of lifeline through the citizenship Amendment Act
because they can be given amnesty essentially.
Where Muslims, because they're specifically denied expedited citizenship under the law,
would have no other recourse.
And this raises a question. If there is a process to figure out who is a legitimate resident and who's not,
what do you do with the people who are not?
What do you do with the people who are deemed illegal?
Tens of thousands queued up across Assam to check if they're Indians or not.
Detention centers for illegal citizens.
India's first detention center in Assam. Many more are planned.
There have been detention camps built in Assam. It is a pilot project in a sense.
The protests began first at primarily Muslim colleges and universities in and around Delhi.
But then they quickly spread all around the country,
where you saw in some cases hundreds of thousands of people saying this new law is
antithetical to the liberal secular democratic spirit of the Constitution.
And some of the Hindu majority sections in Delhi
were a growing increasingly outraged with the severity of the protests.
They really use the fact of these protests to fuel counter protests.
You have legislators who are using their bully pulpit to kind of fan these flames.
The riots that we've seen in recent days have been restricted to Delhi.
The real worry is that what we saw in Delhi
is potentially the harbinger of what could happen on a larger scale in other parts of the country.
Once the the violence broke out in Delhi, how was it addressed?
It took about 72 hours for the police to essentially flood the streets with enough manpower to restore order.
And the lingering question is why it took so long.
If this was such a brazen display of violence,
why didn't the police do anything about it?
And in fact there's video and photographic evidence to suggest
that in many cases police either looked the other way
or aided and abetted the mobs.
Prime Minister Modi was very slow in issuing a statement about the violence.
This was during the tail end of US President Donald Trump's visit to India, a state visit.
You would see the president meeting Prime Minister Modi and you would see parts of Delhi going up in flames.
He could have spoken sooner to try to cool the tensions.
People that are out in the streets protesting, what is it that they want to achieve with these protests?
They want to see, essentially, the government repudiate or repeal this new bill.
Or amend it so that it does not, by omission, single out Muslims. That's number one.
I think number two is, they want some kind of credible commitment that this is not a prelude to
an all-India citizens registry.
What has created so much uncertainty and so much angst is that no one knows what the endgame actually is,
if they actually go through this process and they find people who are illegals.
That question mark is why you see so much anxiety right now in India.
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Delhi’s deadly riots, explained by an expert

51 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on August 11, 2020
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