WION Edit: Citizenship Amendment Act - when actors turned activists

WION Delhi Dec 19, 2019, 07.22 PM(IST)

Protests erupted in Kalburgi and Mangalore districts as well despite the prohibitory orders in place. Photograph:( WION )

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Politics has turned a sensitive issue into a religious divide.

The protests against India's Citizenship Amendment Act has sparked reactions by some Bollywood stars while the A-listers stayed mum.

This should be a good thing in an ideal world, but we don't live in an ideal world.

The voices we hear are heavily politicised. The conflict seems intractable and has reached the courts.

The Supreme Court refused to stay the amended law and will hear the case next month. But politics has turned a sensitive issue into a religious divide.

On WION Edit, we explore what this means for India.

The apex court issued notices to all the petitioners challenging the citizenship law. A three-judge bench headed by CJI Bobde asked the Centre to file the response by the second week of January.

The rules of the law are yet to framed, and there is no question of a stay on something that has been passed in both the Houses of Parliament.

The court also asked the government to publish details of the act in the media so that people know the specifics clearly. This should calm frayed nerves, but it hasn't.

Politicians on both sides, for and against the Act - are stirring the emotions with polarising speeches.

If the home minister spoke about nation-wide NRC, the opposition is projecting a dire situation for the Muslims,  talking about General Dyer, Jallianwala Bagh and the possibility of riots.

If politicians keep their free speech responsibly, the protests will continue to be protests, but the political class is making the discourse poisonous.

Any rise in communal tensions can lead the country to a dangerous path, and thus, political parties should stop seeking mileage from this unrest.

Let there be protests, and let there be peace in those protests. India has a judiciary for a reason. If you disagree go to the courts. Also, instead of 'identifying protesters by their clothes', the government should try to address their concerns.

Student protests are a part of democracy. The biggest political movements the world over have originated in universities, but letting these protests degenerate into violent outbreaks is unacceptable.

(Disclaimer: WION Edit is the channel's take on the big events of the world)