This article will address the political objective behind the Modi government passing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), planning to prepare a National Population Register (NPR) and a National Register of Citizens (NRC). It will examine the psychological impact of these moves on the minority community and why these moves were seen as precursors to their possible political disenfranchisement. It will examine the manner in which anti-CAA/NPR/NRC protest sites came up spontaneously across the country, how these protests were organized, and their lack of a clear leadership. It will also examine the decision of mainstream Opposition parties to keep away from these protests and the consequences of this decision. It will argue that this decision cost the political parties and the nation dearly. It shifted the political discourse within the majoritarian spectrum and led to these parties losing credibility with the protestors and the minority community. Finally, it will also examine the failure of the mainstream political parties in preventing violence by the state against the protestors (such as in Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Delhi) and in moderating the protests so that they do not fall prey to violent provocation.

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