CAA protest: Hindi slogans echoes in air in Chennai

CAA protest: Hindi slogans echoes in air in Chennai

Songs that induce patriotic fervour written by Subramaniya Bharathi at the height of India’s Independence movement too dominated the protests with several invoking the legendary poet’s most famous lines ‘acham acham illai’ (There is no fear).

‘Inqilab Zindabad’, “CAA murdabad” and “CAA se azaadi” – these Hindi slogans rented the air as hundreds of people vociferously protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in this capital city of Tamil Nadu, the state that most vehemently opposes the Hindi language till this date.

People from all walks of life, different faith and ethnicity came together for a four-hour-long protest that witnessed intense sloganeering against the BJP Government, outside a historic structure erected in memory of saint-poet Thiruvalluvar whose couplets Prime Minister Narendra Modi quotes in his speeches often to underline universal brotherhood and peace.

Powerful sloganeering in Hindi by people in a state that has denounced Hindi like no other region in India was the silver lining of the four-hour-long protests outside the Valluvar Kottam in Nungambakkam in the heart of the city.

“Today’s sloganeering in Hindi sends out the message that Tamils don’t hate Hindi. They only oppose its imposition. We will learn a few words in any language to oppose the BJP and RSS,” a woman protested thundered from the stage.

Songs that induce patriotic fervour written by Subramaniya Bharathi at the height of India’s Independence movement too dominated the protests with several invoking the legendary poet’s most famous lines ‘acham acham illai’ (There is no fear).

Carnatic singer T M Krishna, actor Siddarth, professors, politicians like Thol Thirumavalavan and activists joined hundreds of students and the public, a considerable chunk of whom were women, in voicing their vehement opposition to the legislation that they termed “anti-Muslim” and was conceived at marching the country towards a divisive “Hindu Rashtra.”

Hundreds of college students holding placards that sought repeal of the CAA and seeking to know why citizens should produce documents to prove their citizenship of this country also raised slogans against Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and the RSS. Slogans targeting Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam for AIADMK supporting the Bill were also raised during the protests.

Krishna, always outspoken, got onto the stage and gave a beautiful rendition of  Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram, a song widely popularized by Mahatma Gandhi to drive home the pluralistic nature of the Indian society.

“This is an ugly government that lies through its teeth. It is an outright lie when they speak about diversity and equality. This government does not believe in India as a secular nation. They want to pursue their agenda of a Hindu Rashtra. India will never allow such discrimination on religious lines,” he told DH.

Hundreds of police were deployed to prevent any untoward incident even as the organizers kept warning the protesters to check whether any “miscreants” had infiltrated through the crowd.

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