More Shaheen Baghs coming up across India: Nandita Das on CAA stir

The actor-filmmaker says this is the first time that people in India are being divided on religious lines

Nandita Das
Filmmaker Nandita Das speaks during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2020, in Jaipur on Thursday | PTI Photo

Actor-filmmaker Nandita Das on Thursday (January 23) lauded the efforts of students for leading protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and said more protests similar to the one in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh are now being organised across the country.

Shaheen Bagh in Delhi is one of the major protest sites for those opposing the CAA and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Thousands of women, some along with their children, have been continuously protesting there for over a month.

“They (government) are asking those who have been living here for four generations to prove they are Indians. This is very sad. I think everyone should speak up,” she said on the sidelines of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).

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The actor said the protests against the CAA and the NRC are “spontaneous” and no political parties are involved in them. Das also exhorted people to speak up against the CAA and the NRC, while lauding the efforts of the youth and the common people.

“These are led by students and common people. The youth has created a hope in the country. Every other place is becoming a Shaheen Bagh now, and I think as human beings, we should speak up against these laws,” the filmmaker said.

She emphasised that with the economic slowdown, growing unemployment rate, and now with the CAA and the NRC, the country has become a topic of discussion across the world as “people are being divided on the basis of religion”.

Also read | When they came for the children of Shaheen Bagh

“We haven’t seen this kind of unemployment in possibly 50 years. The economy is going down. International newspapers are writing about what’s happening. This is the first time that we are being divided on religious lines.

“Our Constitution has given us the right to equality. You may belong to any caste, gender or religion but you are equal under the Constitution. And if you believe in that equality, you wouldn’t want to see any sort of segregation,” Das said.

She added it was a great thing that people from the film fraternity have also spoken strongly against the CAA and the NRC.

Also read | Jamia, AMU, Shaheen Bagh: Muslim women are heroes of resistance

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