Hundreds of people, including women and children, on Sunday evening took out a massive anti-CAA march from Jamia university gate to Shaheen Bagh as the chorus to demand repealing of the amended Citizenship Act grew louder in Delhi.
The march was high on symbolism as some locals dressed up as Mahatma Gandhi and B R Ambedkar, while three men assumed the identity of martyred revolutionaries Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, one of them in prison clothes and tied in chains.
The protesters, chanting ‘Azadi’ and ‘CAA-NCR Par Halla Bol’, and other slogans also paraded a mock ‘detention camp’ portrayed with a cell on wheels inside of which sat little children of multiple faiths and changed slogans.
People have been protesting at Shaheen Bagh, which has become an epicentre of the anti-CAA agitation in the national capital, for the last over 30 days.
Many of them held candles and others marched holding placards that said, ‘We reject CAA, NRC and NPR’, ‘Hindu Muslim Sikh Isai, Aapas Meyn Bhai Bhai’.
After the march ended, protesters gathered from various parts of Delhi, raised slogans against the central government and demanded revocation of the CAA.
Mohammed Shah Rukh, a protester who came from Jaitpur, carrying the national flag spent his time trying to balance on the rail of the highway that runs through the area, while holding the tricolour in his hand in a “freedom fighter pose”.
“I feel very overwhelmed by this movement, something we read in school textbooks about our freedom struggle, I feel we are fighting for that liberty again,” he said.
Khan, a car mechanic, said some of his brothers also took part in the protest.
Several poets from various parts of the country also have gathered at Shaheen Bagh protest site, reciting patriotic poems, imbued with sarcasm towards the establishment.
Till late night, people had gathered in large numbers to listen to the poets, including women, who watched and chanted slogans way past midnight.
A group of four women, including two college girls, had come from Batla House to take part in the protest.
“We come everyday after doing our household chores. The government is stubborn about not moving an inch on CAA, then we are also stubborn and won’t yield. The stubbornness on the side of truth will win I feel,” said Amira Khatun.
One of two Jamia Millia Islamia students, studying English Literature who did not wish to be named, said, “The Modi government talks about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ but they can’t see the pains of us women and girls. My studies have got affected. CAA has to go.”
Till late night, young and old, protested through songs, slogans, and ‘shayri’ while artistic posters, hung on the foot over bridge, denouncing CAA and NRC, added to the charged atmosphere.
Many waved tricolours in front of the huge map of India mounted at the protest site, while others chanted ‘Azadi’ in front of the model of ‘India Gate’ erected in the street, not in any mood to relent.