INDIA PROTEST MOVEMENT: WORST IS YET TO COME


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Now in its sixth week, millions of Indian protesters continue taking to the streets despite harsh police retaliation and repression by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The key target of the demonstration is the anti-Muslim Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which cites religion as a basis for citizenship for the first time since India declared independence from British rule in 1947.
Specifically, the act denies citizenship to Muslim immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, which are predominantly Muslim nations.
The massive protest movement, while initially generated by Muslim youth, now includes a large cross section of religious and sectarian groups from all economic demographics. A popular chant among the protesters is, “Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are brothers.”
Dozens of protesters have been killed by police and thousands arrested.
The Modi government has been particularly concerned by the ongoing protests in the capital region of Delhi, where crowds of predominantly Muslim women have been blocking roads and defying police attempts to get traffic through.
In the most populated Indian region, Uttar Pradesh, some 20 protesters have been killed, most by police bullets. Police in the region have been given the power to detain citizens without charge.
 
Poverty and Anger 
In addition to what is seen as the draconian anti-Muslim Citizenship Act, millions of Indians are also protesting the growing economic crisis including record unemployment and lack of basic living needs. The unemployment rate is now at a 45-year high. A number of those who are employed have low-paying jobs that are physically dangerous. More than 800 million people in are living on just $2.00 per day.
On 8 January, tens of millions of Indian workers participated in a one-day walkout, angry over the Modi government’s austerity measures that drastically cut social services while offering tax breaks to large corporations and wealthy individuals.
With the economic growth rate now dropping below 5 percent, its worst performance since 2000, the Indian economic conditions signal further decline. Yet, for the past few years, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have singled out India as a “bright spot” in the global economy.
TREND FORECAST: As the global economy slows, economic conditions will continue to worsen in India. Thus, the lower the economy goes, the larger the street protests will grow. And, the larger they grow, the stronger the government will react with violence to clamp down on them.
As Gerald Celente has long noted, “When all else fails, they take you to war.” Thus, we forecast tensions between India and Pakistan will worsen as will conditions in Kashmir, which India has stripped of its autonomy in violation of the 1947 Indian constitution.

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