Fight against CAA: Bandra protest draws hundreds as Mumbai gears up for Kranti Maidan

Updated: 19 December, 2019 07:40 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

More than 300 people, including students, senior citizens and working professionals joined the Carter Road protest to show support for the movement

People march during a protest at Carter Road on Wednesday. 
Pics/ Pradeep Dhivar
People march during a protest at Carter Road on Wednesday. Pics/ Pradeep Dhivar

Even as the city prepares to participate in one of the biggest protests to be held against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) today at the August Kranti Maidan, a similar one was held at Carter Road in Bandra on Wednesday evening. More than 300 people voluntarily took part to take forward the students' movement unfolding in the country.

As the protest started on the scheduled time, more and more people joined eventually to add vigour to the event. Not only collegians, but young working professionals too made it a point to be present to show support for the movement. Slogans like 'Hindu Muslim ek hai, Modi Shah fek hai', 'Jo Hitlar ki chal chalega, nahi rahega, nahi rahega' and 'Inquilab Zindabad' were heard from among the crowd.

As more and more people joined, the Preamble of the constitution was read out. It was followed by a pledge created by the students' organisations against CAA. "The Preamble of the Indian constitution is very different from those of other countries as it has no mention of god in the beginning. This clearly shows the secularity of the constitution. But the CAA is exactly opposite of it. By standing against the CAA, we are standing with the constitution of India, which is clearly more important to ensure the country's secular status. Citizenship cannot be based on religion," said Fahad Ahmand, former president of the TISS Students' Union.

The pledge reads as, "The CAA is full of discrimination and is completely against the principles of the Indian constitution. We do not accept this Act, and pledge to not present any form of documents to prove citizenship."

Twenty-five-year-old Jeffin Jose, a Keralite who works in Mumbai, said, "Whatever may be the details of the Act, it is clearly unconstitutional as it is discriminating on the basis of religion. If you are allowing other people citizenship, allow it to all and do not exclude some based on their religion."

Prot

He further said, "Though support from political parties is needed, the good part is that the absence of the support is ensuring the sanctity of the students' movement."

Sarang Sathay, founder of Bharatiya Digital Party, popularly known as BhaDIPa – a digital entertainment portal very popular among young Maharashtrians, also participated in the protest.

Sarang said, "I am glad to be a part of the movement. It is also overwhelming to see the kind of support it is gaining through messages circulated on social media."

Of the many senior citizens who had joined the protest, S Ramanathan said, "The students' movement is commendable and the enthusiasm with which everybody is participating is something noteworthy. No government can declare an Act without taking people's opinion about it, let alone excluding an entire community. The government is answerable and cannot revolt with violence as they did in Jamia."

Meanwhile, another gathering will take place today near the Churchgate station in support of CAA. Using #MumbaiWithCAA, messages are being circulated on social media asking people to gather at the venue at 5pm.

Precautionary measures

In view of the violence at Jamia Millia Islamia University, student bodies taking part in the August Kranti Maidan protest have taken precautionary measures. The organisers of the protest are circulating messages on social media to create awareness so that a similar situation can be avoided.
Fahad Ahmand, former president of the TISS Students' Union, said, "We have prepared a set of guidelines for the protest. This is being done to ensure that there is no violence at the protest venue because that will divert attention from the main cause. We are expecting a huge crowd at the August Kranti Maidan. But when we take up a fight based on principles, we should not forget our responsibilities. There can be miscreants present in the crowd, who might resort to some kind of violence to distort the objective of the protest. It is our responsibility as protesters to keep a vigil
and not fall prey to such acts."

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First Published: 19 December, 2019 07:35 IST

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