The "enormity" of the new citizenship law and the citizens' list NRC combined will "irrevocably redefine Indian citizenship", wrote over 130 students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as they expressed solidarity with the student protests that have erupted across India.
They said the democratic and secular foundation of the country is "under imminent threat".
Condemning the police action on the students of Delhi's Jamia Milia Isliamia and Aligarh Muslim University, as well as the crackdown on protests in other parts of the country, 135 students, faculty, staff and alumni of the prestigious university praised those who hit the streets in protest.
Tens of thousands of Indians, including students in multiple cities and towns, have taken to the streets in recent days to voice their anger over the new citizenship law that they say discriminates against the minority Muslim community.
A statement signed by 135 MIT faculty, staff, students, alumni, and affiliates on India's CAA:https://t.co/9E75YnseYQ— Vipin Narang (@NarangVipin) December 26, 2019
Students across the world, including those from Oxford University and Harvard University, have expressed concern over the use of police force during the protests.
"It is the enormity of the CAA (amended Citizenship Act) and NRC (National Register of Citizens) combined that would irrevocably redefine Indian citizenship and nationhood by turning away from the plurality and diversity - the guiding principles of the constitution and the state that have been celebrated and kept in balance for nearly 70 years - that has mobilized students to call for the withdrawal of the CAA and the NRC," the MIT students said in statements.
Faced with an avalanche of protests, many of which have been violent, the ruling BJP has stepped up firefighting efforts and plans to connect with three crore families over the next 10 days in an outreach effort.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act makes religion the test of citizenship in India. The government says it will help minorities from three Muslim-dominated countries to get citizenship if they fled to India because of religious persecution. Critics say it is designed to discriminate against Muslims and violates the secular principles of the constitution.