Citizenship Amendment Act protests: How world media covered India's crackdown on protesters in wake of passage of CAB

A nation already drawing negative headlines from the western media over the prolonged civil restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, India is now making the first page of international dailies as protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act spread across the nation

FP Staff December 18, 2019 13:52:43 IST
Citizenship Amendment Act protests: How world media covered India's crackdown on protesters in wake of passage of CAB
  • The Washington Post featured a full-scale image just underneath its frontpage masthead along with a report on page 12.

  • UK based digital-only newspaper The Guardian covered the protests as the second story on its front page

  • The New York Times carried a scathing report on page 5 that spoke about India's dire record in depriving its citizens of internet services

Already drawing negative headlines from the western media over the prolonged restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, India is now making the first page of international dailies as protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act spread across the nation.

The Washington Post featured a large image just underneath its front page masthead along with a report on page 12. The picture depicted scores of students of the Darul Uloom University in Lucknow, trying to break through a gate while police personnel in full riot gear hold position. On page 12, the newspaper carries two reports, one on protests and second on student's account of the alleged police brutality.

UK-based The Guardian covered the protests as the second story on its front page. The article headlined, India protests: students condemn 'barbaric' police, included a timeline of 'contentious' decisions taken by the Modi government in its second term. 

Citizenship Amendment Act protests How world media covered Indias crackdown on protesters in wake of passage of CAB

File image of protests in New Delhi. PTI

The Wall Street Journal carried a page 1 report with the same iconic picture as used by The Washington Post. The picture is a Reuters image.

The New York Times carried a scathing report on page 5 that spoke about India's dire record in depriving its citizens of internet services. Headlined, India Adopts the Tactic of Authoritarians: Shutting Down the Internet, the article noted that the world’s largest democracy shuts down the internet far more than any other country in the country. It reported that this week, 60 million people — roughly the size of France — have no service, while also touching upon the anti-Citizenship Act protests.

The newspaper followed it through with a page 11 editorial that questions the US State department's silence on the 'discriminatory law' against Muslims. The article lists the latest citizenship law that denies citizenship to Muslim migrants in the same breath as Chinese detention of Uighur Muslims and the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.

The Times of Israel carried a straight report on the protests and the casualties after protesters clashed with police. It noted that Islamic groups, the Opposition and rights organisations see the Citizenship Amendment Act as part of Modi’s Hindu nationalist agenda to marginalize India’s 200 million Muslims. However, it added that the prime minister has denied this denies and said that Muslims from the three neighbouring countries — Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh — are not covered by the legislation because they have no need of India’s protection. Haaretz limited its coverage to publishing newswires.

None of the prominent Chinese dailies carried the news on first page. Xinhua alone carried a straight report titled, Fresh violence against new citizenship act in Delhi,
under its International section.

Among Pakistani newspapers, Dawn's Wednesday edition did not carry a report on this prominently, while Pakistan Today featured a editorial piece titled India’s fascist citizenship amendment act,  drawing parallels between the government's latest move to Mussolini and Hitler. The newspaper also carried a straight report stating that Pakistani Hindus have 'rejected India’s offer' for citizenship.

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