December 06, 2023

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The violent anti-CAA protests set a dangerous precedence: Using children as shield

The recent CAA protests put many cities on a stand still affecting business and life. In the cold dreary weather of December, we saw thousands march on the streets protesting against the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Bill (which is now an Act). These protests were largely uncalled for and were politically motivated. But that is not the point of this particle. What these protests did was set a dangerous precedence: Using children as a shield.

Many of these protests emerged from the cradle of learning institutions and universities, largely which were minority based. We saw Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Milia Islamia take the lead. When the protests began at Jamia on 16th of December, little did we expect to see it turning into the nightmare. Four buses were torched, scores of private and government vehicles were damaged, public property, including that of the university, destroyed. How did this all happen. More than 35000 people had gathered to protest against CAA. Later, the VC of Jamia Milia Islamia University claimed that there are hardly 1000 students who were protesting and they were protesting peacefully. It is was the outsiders who had entered the campus and caused ruckus. Ironically, The VC of AMU seems to be making the same claim. More than 750 fake ID cards were seized at Jamia.

How did this all happen?

One thing is for sure that these protests were not spontaneous random outcry against the ‘heinous’ bill. On the contrary, most did not even understand the CAA bill. Some said the bill was meant to throw out the muslims of the country, some said it was against the rights of LGTBQ, and others said many things but the thing which was meant to explain exactly what the bill was about: ie, providing citizenship to the minorities of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Therefore, the misconception and lies fed in the minds of the protesters clearly shows that the protests were instigated for selfish reasons to benefit a few political parties.

Another thing to look at is the modus operandi of these protests. The central to these protests was violence. Violence seems to be the yolk of this protests and the white layer was the political and leftist intellectual class that protected this violence. But who was protecting this white layer of the political and intellectual class? Answer: children. Naïve, innocent children studying in colleges, who believe anything that is told to them and sometimes motivated by even a little monetary benefit. These naïve, innocent, gullible children were used as the shell to protect the diabolical political and intellectual class and the devils were creating fear through violence.

Within this out layer of the children who were put at the fore front, the miscreants threw stones, and petrol bombs at the Police who were controlling the riots which began as protests. Hiding their faces, they torched buses, houses, destroyed public and private property and attacked innocent bystanders and the police. More than a hundred police and bystanders were hurt in these violence acts. And yet, the police and government were helpless. How could they attack the children? Worse still, in that moment of chaos how do they identify who are the actual students of the university and who are not. The crowd was mixed so homogeneously that it was difficult call out the wheat from the chaff making police work a very difficult task.

The use of children highlights a modus operandi borrowed primarily from Palestine, successfully implemented in Kashmir and now being used in the rest of the part of the country. In Palestine, the Hamas militants used to children to protest against Israeli forces and allowing the terrorist elements to act freely. In Kashmir, we all know how the kids were paid about 500 rupees daily to lead protests and throw stones at the army. Now, it seems, those elements have vacated the valley and shifted to other parts of the country.

The question to ask here is: What should the police do? Should it be the mute spectator and allow the miscreants to escape police action? Should it attack the crowd and try and quell the violence but simultaneously end up hurting the children and be seen as the ‘bad guy.’ Should the police enter campuses and at the miscreants there and be seen as ‘the evil force’ attacking institutions of learning?

The next question is: How did so many people gather in the first place? It is without doubt that everything was planned in advance. Mobs were incited, political activists were brought, sleeper cells of Pakistan were activated, illegal infiltrators were called in and the local goons were asked to join in the support. It is no wonder the VCs of Jamila Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University shared the same views and used almost the same set of words,i.e, “It was not the students of the university who created ruckus, but elements from outside who entered the campuses and created the ruckus.” Can these VCs get away with such layman statements? It is a thing to ponder.

Today it has become an international crisis. Where ever there is a propagandist protest, the frontline is led by children. Be it Palestine, Pakistan, middle east, Lebanon, Kashmir and now the rest of India. The modus operandi is the same. This has rendered the Police, the security forces and the government alike helpless. In case the security forces take actions against such illegit protests, the media burns them down for cracking down against children.

Even a bigger question to ask is: How do we stop it all? How do we stop the antisocial elements from using children? How to stop the campuses from being misused by miscreants? How do we keep learning institutions ‘safe’ from politics while still teaching them the values of democracy?


It is a very perplexing situation that goes beyond the measurements of morality. The miscreants have found a loophole that exists in our legal, pollical and social structures and using it to their advantage. One way to begin with is to spread awareness. The next step is yet to be figured out. 

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Last modified on Thursday, 26 December 2019 19:20

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