As far as the electoral imperative is concerned, several state polls have happened since the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act began, but BJP never considered repealing the divisive amendment. In fact, it has used the legislation to energise the Hindu voter base and strengthen their numbers. For instance, in Assam, defying popular belief, the BJP secured a landslide win this year despite months of fierce protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

In short, the Citizenship Amendment Act has been a winning formula for the BJP from the beginning, unlike the farm laws. So the Modi government has no reason to junk it now.

This might be a cynical reading of the future, but it is crucial to understand the distinctions between the two movements precisely so that lessons can be learnt and strategies replicated. It is worth noting that the movement against the citizenship initiatives did manage to secure a critical concession – temporary rollback of the proposed all-India National Register of Citizens, which Shah had promised in the Parliament. Since the protests, he hasn’t mentioned it again. This too was no less than a victory, even if partial.

So, for the movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act , the possibility of a total triumph remains. But for now, it remains hidden behind a thick fog of cynical politics, anti-Muslim majoritarianism and authoritarian arrogance.

Angshuman Choudhury is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, Delhi, and a former visiting fellow to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, Berlin.