India’s Muslim Student Refuses Gold Medal From University To Protest Citizenship Act
A Muslim post-grad student, Rabeeha Abdurehim, from Pondicherry University in India refused to take her gold medal in order to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The student was a Mass Communication student at the university and had been at the top of her class. She said that while she was attending her convocation, she was asked to step out by the police.
On asking why she was made to step out, the police said that the SSP had wanted it this way.
The student believes that she was targeted for her beliefs about the CAA in India. For this reason, she refused to accept the gold medal as a form of protest.
The anti-CAA protests have been going on India ever since the bill was introduced in the Indian Parliament earlier this month. They started in Assam where students saw the bill as a violation of the Assam Accord and then moved on to other parts of the country. Students in Delhi, Aligarh, Mumbai and other cities have also been protesting against the bill. They are being supported by other people in civil society as well.
The protests have generally been peaceful but in some places, there have been clashes with the police. In many areas emergency has been declared and the internet shut down.
The CAA excludes Muslims from seeking refugee and citizenship in India while only giving non-Muslims the right to apply for Indian citizenship. Critics of the CAA see it as BJP’s way of limiting the Muslim population of the country.