Protest by deaf people to intensify

After the high octane ‘dharna’ by Aam Aadmi Party, Lutyen’s Delhi on Thursday witnessed a quiet siege, with hundreds of deaf persons demonstrating the power of silence, yet sending out a loud message to the government: “allow us to share the national pride on Republic Day too.”

No shouting of slogans damning the government, no fiery speeches; not even a ‘bite’ on offer for the TV crew, who were quick to reach the scene. Yet, the silent siege was menacing enough for the beleaguered government to deploy a large contingent of policemen with barricades and water canons.

The ‘silent’ agitators assembled outside Shastri Bhawan to press on their demand for telecast of Republic Day celebration on all the channels of Doordarshan with sign language interpretation for the benefit of 18 million deaf persons across the country.

Apart from Information and Broadcasting, Shastri Bhawan houses many other ministries. The babus coming out of the building were taken aback by the police barricades and temporary traffic restrictions. Some of them could not help but wonder if the inimitable Arvind Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, was back with one of his signature ‘dharnas’.

The quiet siege prompted Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari to immediately summon his senior officials including Director General of Doordarshan Tripurari Sharan to assuage the agitators.

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