Without any political party's support, India's Muslims protesting CAA have asserted a new political identity and also settled the issue of representation.
Protests against the CAA spread across the country after police's brutal assault on students at Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University | ThePrint Photo
The remarkable presence of Muslims in anti-CAA protests throughout India is a powerful, symbolic, and strategic assertion that counters aggressive Hindutva. It also signals the birth of a new ‘inclusive nationalism’ in India.
Although this new, mass Muslim politics has not yet found any concrete formal shape, the violent and even brutal reaction of the Narendra Modi government towards Muslim protesters is itself a sign of its increasing political significance.
This assertion comes after six years of near-silence of Indian Muslims in the face of a sustained propaganda to demonise the community. They didn’t react because they couldn’t re-imagine and flesh out the exact nature of the new Muslim political identity.
Triple talaq and Babri Masjid had already lost their symbolic potentials for Muslims. But the new citizenship issue is different. It is linked to the very foundation of their political, and indeed social, existence. This has provoked them to assert themselves as Indians as well as Muslims – and thereby proposing a new inclusive definition of nationalism.
But there are four new factors that are shaping this new Muslim politics and its stake in nationalism.
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