Mumbai: After stadium, agitators take anti-CAA protests to the sky

Updated: Jan 16, 2020, 07:52 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

On Makar Sankranti, they took to flying kites with 'No CAA,' 'No NRC' and 'No NPR' written on them

Protesters with their kites on the terrace of a building at Carter Road
Protesters with their kites on the terrace of a building at Carter Road

After getting their message across to spectators at the India-Australia ODI at Wankhede, students used the festival of Makar Sankranti for the same, flying kites with 'No CAA', 'No NRC' and 'No NPR' written on them. They were joined by members of Hum Bharat Ke Log. After much discussion over the venue, since the police had banned kite-flying on some beaches due to safety reasons, the protesters chose the terrace of a building at Carter Road in Bandra.

With each passing day, youngsters in Mumbai are finding novel ways to protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR). While there were around 20 participants flying kites on the terrace of the building, others stood below spreading the message there. Fahad Ahmad, a PhD student from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), said, "We want to capture the sky too in order to spread our message. This is not happening only in Mumbai; kites with messages are being flown across India."

The police had banned kite-flying at Girgaon Chowpatty, Marine Drive and some other spots due to safety reasons. Pic/Ashish Raje
The police had banned kite-flying at Girgaon Chowpatty, Marine Drive and some other spots due to safety reasons. Pic/Ashish Raje

The police had put a ban on kite flying at Girgaon chowpatty and Marine Drive. While common concerns for both venues included safety of birds and citizens, at Juhu Chowpatty it was also regarding the area coming in the airplane funnel zone.

At Girgaon Chowpatty, people were allowed to keep their kites at the entrance while going onto the beach, and could take them back later. Marine Drive was also a no-kite-flying zone. However some citizens pointed out that Wilson Gymkhana opposite Marine Drive saw many people flying kites.

While city youth were flying kites with messages, there was a rally against the CAA in the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay on Wednesday evening. As per information provided by students, more than 1,500 students, faculty members, staff, and residents participated in it. The rally marked the culmination of a 10-day protest on campus, that took place for an hour every day.

The next protest

Several youngsters and organisations are coming together to hold protests against the CAA, NRC and NPR at events remembering Rohith Vemula, the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) student who committed suicide on January 17, 2016. While on Thursday night a candle-light demonstration will be held at Chaityabhumi by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice; Hum Bharat Ke Log are to observe Rohith Smruti Divas on Friday afternoon with a long march from Kotwal Maidan to Chaityabhumi.

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