John Cusack condemns attack on Delhi students: ‘Fascism is not a joke’

John Cusack condemns attack on Delhi students: ‘Fascism is not a joke’
John Cusack condemns attack on Delhi students: ‘Fascism is not a joke’
3 min read
17 December, 2019
John condemned the country for it's draconian law [Getty]
Say Anything actor John Cusack lent his voice to the chorus of criticism levelled against the government in India following an attack on student protesters in Delhi - the latest in a cacophony of violence.

Cusack took to Twitter and shared several videos of the attacks that were tagged as "video from the assaults".

The Hollywood actor didn't shy away from slamming the government. "Fascists in India trying to set students against each other," he wrote.

"To cover for the economic collapse of demonetization but they are standing together in solidarity with their Muslim brothers & sisters - This is fascism everywhere - them or us."

He kept his followers updated and said: "Reports from Delhi are it was a war zone last night - Fascism is not a joke - we use the word with the understanding."

The 53-year-old added: "It's deadly."

Muslim rights

Protests have erupted all over India against the new citizenship law, with several college campuses across the South Asian country in solidarity against violent police crackdown in two university campuses on Sunday.

Six people died in the northeast and some 200 people were injured as a result of demonstrations.

More than 100 students were injured after police descended on New Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in order to disperse the anti-government protests.

The students were part of a mass demonstration movement with pockets in Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore and Lucknow, against the passing of a controversial law which would grant citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from law, whilst blocking naturalization for Muslims.

Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Christians from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh can acquire Indian citizenship as part of the new law, whilst Muslims in India will have to prove that they have citizenship.

Under the new legislation, Muslims would be the only minority which would have to prove its citizenship – other religious and ethnic groups are exempt from this.

Critics have compared the contentious law to Donald Trump’s attempted Muslim ban, and argue that it is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda to marginalize the 200 million strong Muslim minority.

An injured boy takes part in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act [Getty] 

Earlier this week Modi denied the accusation and said that the new law "does not affect any citizen of India of any religious" and accused "vested interest groups" of stoking the "deeply distressing" unrest.

Cusack isn’t the only one to call the draconian law fascistic. Rahul Gandhi, former opposition Congress chief tweeted that the law and a mooted nationwide register of citizens also seen as anti-Muslim were "weapons of mass polarisation unleashed by fascists".

Police are being scrutinised

Thousands of people marched against the bill in the eastern city of Kolkata in West Bengal, and new protests also erupted in the southern state of Kerala.

Following violence at JMI and Aligarh Muslim University, people are petitioning the courts to seeking an impartial investigation into police action during the violence.

The court asked petitioners, as well as their lawyers to approach the High Courts, as it has jurisdiction over the two places where the violence occurred.

Police arrested at least 10 people in connection to the violence over the weekend, and they said no Jamia student was arrested.

Jamia Vice Chancellor Najma Akhtar has called for an investigation into police action.

Human Rights Watch issued a statement warning the Indian authorities to "show restraint" at demonstrations. 

“The Indian government should address the concerns raised about the citizenship law instead of trying to shut down the protests with excessive force,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director. “The police should have learned by now that responding to protesters with brutality only encourages more violence.”

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