On 11 December, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed which provides citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The act has led to protests as many believe it is part of an agenda to marginalise Muslims. However, five Indian states and one federal territory have passed resolutions in their respective law-making bodies, which means that they will not implement the law. Several people have been killed and hundreds have been injured in the demonstrations.
When asked how the states have been able not to implement the law, Professor D’Souza said: “Well, you need to understand the federal structure in India and the states are responsible for any statistical and other data collection and therefore they are within their rights to say they will not collect the data that is necessary for the federal government to implement the law.
“This is one part of it. The other part of it is, of course, that although the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) won the elections in 2019 at the federal level, they have consistently lost elections at state level since then. So, at state level, on the ground, the tide is turning and that is how I understand it.”