In Kerala, millions of people form a human chain to protest India’s “anti-muslim” citizenship laws

“The citizenship law will endanger the constitution and destroy peace”

Screenshot from YouTube Video by indusdotnews.

Human Chain in Kerala. Screenshot from YouTube Video by indusdotnews.

On 26 January, on the Republic Day of India, several millions of people formed a 620 km human chain from the north to the south of Kerala demanding the withdrawal of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 (CAA) promulgated in December 2019 provides a path to citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from the neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. However, it has drawn criticism from civil society organizations and the opposition for unfairly excluding Muslims. The Citizenship Amendment Act, combined with the nationwide National Register of Citizens (NRC), is deemed to be disastrous, not only for the minority Muslims, but also all other Indians.

The human chain event was organised by Left Democratic Front (LDF), a coalition of left-wing political parties led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its leader, the Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan.

Another Human chain is going to be created by the Malayalis in Kerala on our Republic Day,2020.

This human chain will be 620 km long to show the protest against #CAA_NRC_NPR and other unconstitutional activities of Sanghis.

From Kasaragod to Thiruvananthapuram.#CAA_NRCProtests pic.twitter.com/Rb0MANTJXc

— Debasish Paul (@ComradeDebasish) January 25, 2020

Note: Malaylalis = People from Kerala speaking the Malayalam language. Sanghis = Followers of Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing, Hindu nationalist, paramilitary volunteer organisation.

The crowd included politicians, cultural activists, religious leaders, artists and concerned citizens. Social media accounts were flooded with colorful images and videos from the protest:

A view from the 620 km long human chain in Kerala to protest against the anti constitutional CAA, NRC & NPR and ‘Hum Dekhenge’ in Malayalam in the background.

Let our PM identity all these people by their dresses 🙂
pic.twitter.com/N9exiGsooa

— Ravi Nair (@t_d_h_nair) January 26, 2020

Note: “Hum Dekhenge” = We will see.

The Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan joined the protests and said in a statement:

The citizenship law will endanger the Constitution and destroy peace in the country since their (the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s) intention is to destroy secularism. We have already declared that Kerala is not the place to accept the new citizenship regime.

He also shared this tweet:

Kerala, in essence, is an argument for equality. The people of this land are unapologetically secular. The #KeralaHumanChain of today is yet another example for our unity. This battle, we will not rest and we shall overcome.#HumanChain pic.twitter.com/W3Hprr7E8t

— Pinarayi Vijayan (@vijayanpinarayi) January 26, 2020

Stand up in any way you can. It’s necessary#NoCAANoNRC

PHOTOS: Newlyweds, Young Children Take Part In Kerala’s Human Chain Against CAA https://t.co/fhGy6zEAm3

— Riddhi Doshi (@riddhi09) January 29, 2020

From their Wedding to the 620 km human chain —-

formed in Kerala demanding withdrawal of CAA.#शाहीन_बाग_से_हिलती_सरकार pic.twitter.com/4rHfwRA3EA

— FAISAL ALAM🇮🇳 (@FAISALALAM832) January 27, 2020

The Kerala human chain was not allowed to break even in backwaters. Such is the devotion towards constitution. pic.twitter.com/TASApYuqIk

— Ramesh_India (@CommonManInd65) January 28, 2020

Thousands of people formed an 11km long human chain in Kolkata, the capital of the state of West Bengal on the same day.

#Kolkata . This human chain goes 11 kms to Golpark from Shyambazar Against NRC/CAA/NPR. pic.twitter.com/Yj40ArgKFd

— Dibyendu (@Dibyend48970765) January 26, 2020

Republic Day honours the date (26 January 1950) on which the Constitution of India came into effect and turned the nation into a newly formed republic. On this day, India saw protests across the country that accuse the CAA of being detrimental to a key component of the constitutional value system — envisioning a secular India.

Protest against CAA/NRC/NPR in india in 56 cities on Republic Day #शाहीन_बाग_से_हिलती_सरकार pic.twitter.com/XqtXuNRent

— Aamir Siddiqui (@AamirSi11033884) January 27, 2020

🔸Lakhs in a Human Chain in Kerala

🔸11km Human Chain in Kolkata

🔸Republic Day celebrations in Shaheen Bagh

🔸Dalit & Adivasi march in Bengaluru

Anti-CAA-NRC movement grows bigger & bigger. Modi would be tired of seeing pics & identifying crores of people by their clothes 😄pic.twitter.com/9wxWADKlW0

— Srivatsa (@srivatsayb) January 27, 2020

Read our special coverage: Who is paying the cost of India’s declining democracy? for more details on the protests against the citizenship laws in India.

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China NHC Adds 1982 New Coronavirus Cases In Last 24 Hours

CDC%2BMap%2B30th.png
Credit CDC

#14,770

On the day that the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus epidemic in China a PHEIC (Public Health Emergency of International Concern), China’s National Health Commission added 1982 new cases, and 42 additional deaths.

Of those, hard hit Hubei province contributed 1220 cases or roughly 62% of today’s total.

The NHC also announced the cure and discharge of 47 cases, which exceeds the number of deaths reported today.  The totals so far show 213 deaths and only 171 recoveries.

Update on pneumonia of new coronavirus infections as of 24:00 on January 30

Published: 2020-01-31

Source : Health Emergency Office

At 04:00 on January 30, 31 provinces (autonomous regions and municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported 1982 new confirmed cases, 157 severe cases, and 43 new deaths (42 cases in Hubei Province, Heilongjiang Province). 1 case in the province), 47 new cases were cured and discharged, and 4812 new cases were suspected.

As of 2400 on January 30, the National Health and Health Commission has received a total of 9,692 confirmed cases (31 cases in Sichuan Province were subtracted from the cumulative confirmed cases) in 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps. A total of 213 deaths and 171 cases were cured and discharged, with a total of 15,238 suspected cases.

At present, a total of 113,579 close contacts have been tracked (21 cases of reductions in Beijing). On the day, 4,201 people were released from medical observation, and a total of 102,427 people were receiving medical observation.

A total of 28 confirmed cases were reported from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan: 12 from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, 7 from the Macao Special Administrative Region, and 9 from Taiwan.

(Note: When quoted by the media, please mark “Information comes from the official website of the National Health and Health Commission.“)

Coronavirus: Why China’s Strategy to Contain the Virus Might Work

Wuhan City has a population of over 11 million. Credit: Tauno Tõhk/CC by 2.0

By Fei Chen
Jan 30 2020 (IPS)

On January 23, the authorities of Wuhan City, China, sealed off the motorways and shut down all public transport to stop the coronavirus outbreak from spreading. Shortly afterwards, at least ten other cities in China were under quarantine orders, most of them located in the areas surrounding Wuhan.

It sounds unbelievable to quarantine a city of 11 million people, but it may work because movement within and between cities in China relies heavily on public transport infrastructure. Major cities in China are well connected by airports, express railways, motorways and long-distance buses. Once the entry points of these transport routes are controlled and patrolled, people cannot easily get out.

Fei Chen, Senior Lecturer, Architecture, University of Liverpool

The transport infrastructure is built by the state and over 90% funded by public money, so control remains in the hands of the authorities. The one-party government in China also helps to effectively implement such a strategy.

Another reason this containment strategy may work is that major Chinese cities are large and dense. Wuhan has an urban area of 1,528km2, which makes it extremely difficult for people to walk out of the city if they are not able to take public transport or travel on the motorways using private cars.

People who live on the periphery of the city may still be able to get out through small local road networks that mainly lead to villages or the countryside. As long as the major roads are closed off, they are not able to reach other major cities with a large, concentrated population and the quarantine remains effective.

Megacity regions

The urbanisation process facilitated by the Chinese state results in big cities surrounded by smaller cities, towns and counties. This form of city cluster, known as megacity regions, are a recent phenomenon in China and their development

has been driven by both political and economic factors. The Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta are the most well known megacity regions, holding enormous economic power and attracting labourers regionally and nationally.

Wuhan and its surrounding cities, towns and counties holds a similar status in central China thanks to its strategic location on the Yangtze River and national railway network. The local authority’s Great Wuhan Economic Region plan is intended to promote Wuhan in efforts to become comparable to the aforementioned megacity regions.

Megacity regions are connected by transport routes and mostly developed around transport nodes, at both the regional and neighbourhood scales. This so-called transit-oriented development means that if the entry points of public transport are closed off in cities of the whole region, to a large extent, people are controlled in the region.

Chinese New Year

For more than three decades, Chinese urbanisation has seen large scale domestic migration. People from the countryside and smaller cities and towns move to big cities for more work opportunities and better education and healthcare. Chinese New Year is most important occasion when people return to their home towns to celebrate the festival with their families.

The coronavirus containment measures coincided with the national movement for the New Year celebration. This massive movement of people, if not controlled, would be a serious threat to containing the virus. People were advised against long-distance travel and the New Year holiday has been extended into February. These measures are to make sure movement within the country is restricted as much as possible. Workers will stay in their home cities as their returns are suspended.

The containment measures in Wuhan and other cities are likely to continue until further studies of the virus suggest other effective solutions. At the current moment, international travellers from China have all been checked at airports and some flights have been cancelled.

Cities nowadays rely on complex systems to operate. The concentration of labour and resources may enable efficiency but leaves them vulnerable to attacks. The outbreak put enormous pressure on Wuhan’s healthcare system as people can only seek treatment in the city. A few high-ranked hospitals in Wuhan possess the best resources, but they cannot cope with the healthcare demand from large groups at the same time. Two new hospitals are being built in Wuhan to deal with the coronavirus outbreak. They are expected to be completed on February 3rd and 5th respectively and provide 2,300 beds in total.

In the foreseeable future digital technologies and smart city measures may also play a role in dealing with pressure on health infrastructure by, for instance, reporting cases and coordinating the allocation of resources. Wuhan has a reputation for the active integration of smart technologies in urban management.

Although effective, sealing off an entire city or region should always be a last resort. It will surely have a negative social impact and damage the economy.The Conversation

Fei Chen is a senior lecturer of architecture, University of Liverpool

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The post Coronavirus: Why China’s Strategy to Contain the Virus Might Work appeared first on Inter Press Service.