Protesters vow to intensify fight against CAA, NRC

The ‘Iron Lady’ from Manipur sat down on the steps of Town Hall with hundreds of activists and members of the civil society. “I am here because my conscience tells me to be here. The one-sided administration is really sad as it affects the future of the country. The government needs to respect the people’s sentiments to become more democratic and inclusive. This discrimination needs to stop,” she said, explaining the need for opposing the government’s moves surrounding citizenship.

The opposition to the Union government’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) got a shot in the arm as a diverse set of people, from activist Irom Sharmila to artiste M D Pallavi came together on Sunday.

The ‘Iron Lady’ from Manipur sat down on the steps of Town Hall with hundreds of activists and members of the civil society. “I am here because my conscience tells me to be here. The one-sided administration is really sad as it affects the future of the country. The government needs to respect the people’s sentiments to become more democratic and inclusive. This discrimination needs to stop,” she said, explaining the need for opposing the government’s moves surrounding citizenship.

The protests at the Town Hall began at about 1 pm when a handful of engineers sang songs of unity and read out the preamble of the Constitution, stating that the freedom granted by the document is being undermined by the authorities through CAA, NRC and NPR. 

The ‘Burkha and Bindi’ protest saw men, women and transgender activists from different communities coming together, making the event that much more inclusive on the day the Union government launched a reach-out programme.

Musician and singer M D Pallavi sang Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s ‘Hum Dekhenge’, the anti-authoritarian poem which recently created a stir over its wrong interpretation. The crowd erupted in cheers and clapped as they cried out that ‘Kagaz nahhi dikhayenge’ and ‘Samvidhan ko bachayenge’.

“Many people in this country would not even know their birth date, let alone their documents. We don’t understand why the government wants to make us prove our citizenship. It should instead focus on our economy, which has hit rock bottom and left the poor struggling to make ends meet,” she said. 

Activist and member of Citizens for Bengaluru Tara Krishnaswamy took a jibe at Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, noting that it was not just ‘puncturewallah’ who were protesting against NRC. “People across different religions, communities and professions are standing up against injustice. Our resolve and our voice will only get stronger in the coming days,” she said

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