The Spirits of India: Unity in Malerkotla
Author: Quinta Allaya Emirsyah
Back in December 2019, India’s parliament, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), passed the Citizenship Amendment Act which triggered protests across the country because it was considered as marginalizing for Muslim citizens. However, in March 2020, Indians are uniting to show resistance by protesting in a small town in Punjab named Malerkotla. With more than 140,000 people coming from all over the country, this became one of India’s largest anti-CAA demonstration event. One unique thing about this protest was that a sizeable amount of the protesters were non-Muslims, including Sikhs, Hindus, and Isais. This clearly showed that the people of India are putting aside religious differences in the name of fraternity. According to Parminder Singh, an Indian professor and one of the speakers in the rally, Indians are uniting because they are still traumatized after the Partition of India in 1947. Back then, an uproar of unprecedented violence happened and a lot of Muslim citizens were murdered. However, even back in the 1947, the small town of Malerkotla maintained their peace and religious tolerance. Therefore, it is believed that Indian people are progressively moving to improve their religious tolerance by uniting in Malerkotla, putting aside their differences to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act and advocate for peace.