HARSH MANDER IN CONVERSATION WITH ASIF IQBAL TANHA
‘It Is Not Hindus Or Muslims Who Are In Danger, Democracy Itself Is In Danger’
Asif Iqbal Tanha, a 24-year-old Jamia Millia Islamia graduate and student activist who spent a year in jail, accused of 33 criminal offences, including murder, terrorism, rioting, and sedition, explains why he will not stop opposing India’s new citizenship law, how he was introduced to activism, his prison friendships and his idea of India.
"Neither Hindus or Muslims
are in danger. It is
democracy that is
"The NRC enacted in Assam was a
total failure. Only 5 lakh Muslims were
included in the final list."
"I am interested in activism
because our country today needs
people to speak for our rights."
"There is only this
who want to divide
small fragment of people
"I was arrested on May 17, 2020.
The Special Cell officers
tortured me that night."
"On my first day in prison, they asked me
which case I was arrested in. I said 'Jamia'.
They tied me to a tree and beat me."
"They made me sign an arrest memo.
The mental torture that ensued
"In jail, I arranged for painting
on the prison walls using
cooked rice as glue."
tools. We hung paintings