Podcast: Supriya Sharma on Citizenship, Protests, and the Indian Media
On January 10, the newly passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) officially came into force. The act provides for an expedited pathway to citizenship for illegal migrants from a number of non-Muslim faiths hailing from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan and who seek refuge in India. The act has prompted intense protests across cities and towns in India. The act dovetails with another one of the Modi government’s priorities, the creation of a national register of citizens (NRC) that aims to weed out illegal migrants from India’s citizenship rolls. The government has, however, said that the NRC has not been discussed officially yet.
To talk about the bill, the street protests, and the ruling BJP’s larger objectives, on a recent trip to New Delhi, Milan Vaishnav (Director of the South Asia programme at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) sat down with Supriya Sharma, the executive editor of Scroll.in, in this first episode of the third season of Grand Tamasha. Supriya has extensively covered the protests—and the state’s brutal response—in the crucial Hindi heartland state of Uttar Pradesh.
Milan and Supriya also discuss the economic slowdown and how that might be fueling popular discontent as well as the state of the media environment in India today.