In December 2019, the world woke up to protests taking place in the most populous democracy in the world, India. Tens of thousands of people were gathered in various cities across the nation to protest a controversial law called the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that was supposed to enable fast track citizenship to non-Muslims from three neighboring countries i.e. Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Many people feared that in combination with a nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), the CAA would end up depriving Muslims in India of citizenship – a process that some have argued is a stepping stone that could lead to the ethnic cleansing of Muslims.
Various twists and turns have emerged in the protests with violence against protesters as well as against security forces trying to quell the protests. More than 20 people were killed across the nation with many more injured. While the protests remained a part of the larger Indian citizenry, the role of Muslims in the protests has become much more prominent given that it is the very first time that Indian Muslims have engaged with democratic freedoms. This article aims to explore the role that Muslims in and out of India have played in the protests and what sort of future trends may emerge.