"This Is An Egoistic, Uneducated, Scared Government": Anurag Kashyap

Hundreds of people across India were held for defying a ban on demonstrating against the controversial new Citizenship Amendment Act.

Citizenship Amendment Act: Anurag Kashyap appealed for peaceful protests.

New Delhi:

Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap on Thursday came down heavily on authorities trying to clamp down protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, saying that it showed a "scared, egoistic, uneducated" government that wanted to cling on to power.

"You have shut down internet in the capital. You have stopped the metro. This is a scared government whose sole agenda is to win elections," Mr Kashyap, 47, told NDTV.

"People are being detained, not allowed to protest - what is the difference between today and the Emergency? Narendra Modi used to abuse the Congress; today, he has become Indira Gandhi himself. And Amit Shah has become Sanjay Gandhi. So what is the difference between them and the ones they abuse?" he said.

The Black Friday director, who has frequently faced attacks for expressing his views on social media, said, "I am constantly told this is a government elected by 1.3 billion Indians. To them I want to say 1.3 billion or 130 crore is the population of the country. Of that 90 crore people are eligible to vote. Of that 67 per cent voted which is around 60 crore. Of which 38 per cent voted for the BJP which is 23 crore. So the BJP only has the mandate of 23 crore of India's 130 crore people. That's less than 20 per cent."

Speaking about the violence during protests at Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia university on Sunday that marked an escalation of demonstrations against the citizenship law, Mr Kashyap said, "This is a very old way. Wherever there is a peaceful protest and if it threatens you, you inject anti-social elements into it. They will create violence and disappear. Everywhere you see we are getting the same reports. And the state is prepared because it already knows there will be violence and they have to crack down on cue."

He said that imposing restrictions like Section 144, which ban large gatherings, is "pushing it too far".

"There is desperation and there is a huge ego: 'We can't be wrong, we can't lose, we can't step back'," Mr Kashyap said, attacking the government.

"They can't admit their mistakes. This is an egoistic, uneducated government. They will not accept what's going wrong with the economy. They will not accept growth is going down. You can't address a problem if you don't accept there is a problem," he said.

"They constantly want to win elections, they want to constantly reinforce their ideas without having an objective point of view, and they will use any method to make it true," Mr Kashyap said.

Hundreds of people across India held for defying a ban on demonstrating against the controversial new citizenship law continued their protest in police detention on Thursday.

Public anger over the new law widely considered to be discriminatory is building across the country, with marches and rallies planned despite bans on public gatherings in several areas, raising the possibility of further violence and arrests.

The government ban has been imposed in parts of the capital New Delhi, and throughout the states of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka.

Police detained hundreds of people in Delhi and Bengaluru on Thursday and shut down the internet in some places as protests entered a second week over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.