India attempts busting citizenship law ‘myths’ with cartoon Muslims
NEW DELHI: India’s ruling party released a video with animated Muslim characters on social media Monday in a publicity attempt to bust “myths” around a new citizenship law that has sparked deadly protests.
The law has invoked concerns that Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government wishes to marginalize India’s Muslim minority.
The short video clip shows two bearded men in traditional Muslim clothing discussing the legislation before concluding that the country can only progress if there is “peace and brotherhood.”
Twenty-five people have died in protests so far, but demonstrations took place Monday in Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi with no violence reported.
In Kolkata, there was a march in approval of the law.
The video was released by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party on its Twitter handle. On Sunday, Modi said Muslims “don’t need to worry” about the new law.
The ruling right-wing government also carried an advertisement across all national dailies with a “myths vs facts” explainer denying that the law was against India’s 200 Muslims.
The advert also said that there were no instant plans to roll out a nationwide register of citizens, which has invoked fears of Muslims and others incapable of proving they are Indian, hence becoming stateless.
Even if the register would be rolled out, “the guidelines would be framed such that no Indian citizen would face any harassment whatsoever” the advertisement read.
The surge of protests across the country marks the biggest challenge ever to have fallen on Modi’s government since the leader swept into power in the world’s largest democracy in 2014.
Challenges for Modi doubled on Monday when indications arrived that the BJP was to be kicked out of office in the eastern state of Jharkand following the elections.
It also lost power in Maharashtra the previous month in a major setback.