The BJP government led by Narendra Modi came back to power with a renewed majority earlier this year. Since then this government has taken several steps to decrease the rights and liberties of Indian citizens, starting with the abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir – which is now in the longest lockdown ever by any democratic country among many other injustices- and now the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) backed by the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
We are watching with horror as police across India, especially in Uttar Pradesh, are cracking down on peaceful demonstrations, using live ammunition against non-violent protesters and perhaps, most disturbingly, the UP police are being credibly accused of widespread sexual violence against children as well as adults.
There’s no accepting such manifestly unjust policies backed by violence in any country, let alone one that claims to be a constitutional democracy with equal rights for all citizens. The protests against the CAA are among the largest spontaneous expressions of democratic rights by Indians since independence. Which is why we are dismayed that no major animal rights or welfare organization in India has issued statements against the CAA and the NRC or shown solidarity with the protests across India.
Animal rights work in India struggles with the impression that it’s an upper caste, upper class issue and in fact, that it’s undergirded by biases against Muslims, Dalits and other communities that consume meat. At Animaleft we believe that our struggles are intertwined, that creating a better future for non-human beings goes hand in hand with expressing solidarity with communities at the receiving end of state and social discrimination. We strongly condemn the ongoing effort to write discrimination against Muslims into the law. An equal India is a better India for humans and non-humans alike.