Anti-CAA protesters in Delhi ring in new year with national anthem
Thousands of people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rang in 2020 by singing the national anthem at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh.
Thousands of people protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rang in 2020 by singing the national anthem at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.
Several roamed around waving national flags while others displayed creative placards against the new law and chanted “Aazadi, Aazadi”.
As the clock struck 12, the crowd cheered and greeted fellow protesters for the new year, and moments later broke into the national anthem in unison, which was followed by the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”.
Amongst the thousands of people was a group of young working professionals who had come in from various parts of Delhi, skipping party invitations to usher in 2020. “Of course, I would have been celebrating all through the new year’s eve had the situation been normal,” a 30-year-old man, who works in a private firm.
Asked for his name, the man requested anonymity and added, “I don’t want me being here to be identified with any religion. It’s for a bigger cause, it’s to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the National Register of Citizens.”
According to The New Indian Express, Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India party took part in the protests and said, “I have come in the hope that something good happens in the New Year. I have come here because I was told that after Jamia and AMU, if you want to rekindle hope, go to Shaheen Bagh.”
A city-based artist, who identified herself as “Phool Kumari”, used the platform to also protest against the arrests of a few people in south India who were held by the police over their anti-CAA kollams recently.
“We are living on Orwellian reality. Absurdity is the new normal. Government is using its brute force at wrong places. Art and protests, in general, should not be held against the citizens,” the 26-year-old artist said.
Local men and women too remained at the venue well past 12, in solidarity for the cause they said was the “most important now”. “Otherwise we would have watched TV at home,” a woman said, requesting anonymity.
Shaheen Bagh, near Jamia Millia Islamia, has been a protest venue for people opposed to the CAA and the NRC since December 15.
The protesters in the area here have been asked multiple times over the past two weeks to vacate the area and discontinue their protests.
Earlier, the Station House Officer of Shaheen bagh issued a notice asking the protesters to vacate the area citing disruptions in the “supply of essential goods and services”, according to The Hindu.
The Resident Welfare Association of the area and a local BJP leader too have written letters to the police, asking them to call off the protests in the area.
Besides Delhi, protests have been witnessed in various places across the country over the contentious law.
(With inputs from agencies)