Mumbai: Anti-CAA protests go more local as suburban residents march in Kurla, Kandivli

Updated: Dec 21, 2019, 15:55 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Kurla, Kandivli and Crawford Market witness afternoon marches; international community too joins India against CAA

Indians and Germans protest against the CAA yesterday in Magdeburg, Germany
Indians and Germans protest against the CAA yesterday in Magdeburg, Germany

After Thursday's mega protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizenship (NRC) at August Kranti Maidan, more were held on Friday in Kurla and Kandivli. Social media too continues to buzz with #MumbaiAgainstCAA with several youngsters posting pictures and opinions.

Friday's protests saw the participation of people of all ages. They also managed to focus on the issue at hand and were pulled off peacefully amid tight police deployment. Nearly 3,000 protesters marched in Lalji Pada area of Kandivli. "The law is based on religious discrimination, which is completely against the secular nature of this country. We have to raise our voice against it," said Arif Ali, a resident of Ganesh Nagar.

The call for the protest at Kandivli was given by local mosques. "A meeting was held among the priests of different mosques on Wednesday to discuss the new law. Looking at the activities unfolding in the country, we decided to appeal all locals to join the march on Friday after the noon prayer. We are glad that people have shown support in such huge numbers," said Mohammad Manzar Aza Misbahi, a priest of the Gausia Mosque in Lalji Pada.

Protesters at Crawford Market on Friday afternoon. Pic/Ashish Raje
Protesters at Crawford Market on Friday afternoon. Pic/Ashish Raje

"The Constitution is based on secularism, which is the soul of this nation. The CAA is attacking it. We as people of India have to stand and raise our voice against it," said Misbahi, adding that although the call was given by mosques, protests were attended by people from all faiths.

In Kurla, residents gave the call for protest. Around 5,000 people marched near Shalimar Hotel. "The CAA is a barbaric act. The secularism of this nation is being seen in the support the movement has gained in the past few days. We have to continue the protests to build pressure on the government to abolish this Act," said Ismail Shaikh, a Kurla resident. Outside the country, Mumbaikar Samantha Kothare living in Germany's Magdeburg, has taken up the responsibility to protest and create awareness about the CAA.

Lessons from Germany
Born and brought up in Dadar and now settled in Germany, Kothare has been upset with the events unfolding in India. "Indians in Magdeburg stand in solidarity with the students in India and against the police brutality. It is sad to say that the right to protest in a democracy is met with the harshest police violence," said Kothare. She, along with her Indian and German friends protested at a local market on December 20. "My friends here say India should learn from Germany's history. It is sad that they understand the issue and we don't," added Kothare.

World stands with India against CAA

Protests against CAA took place in New York and London this week. In New York, protesters demonstrated outside the Indian Consulate 5 pm to 6.30 pm. In London, students from the Oxford University organised a peaceful protest at the Radcliffe Camera at noon on Tuesday, and another protest on Wednesday night outside the London High Commission. Shevika Mishra, a Mumbaikar, pursuing her Master's in Public Policy at Oxford, said, "I think it's unconstitutional and so scary that the government wants to base citizenship on religion. It is exciting that so many people from across the world are finally standing up to the government and its authoritarian approach of doing things."

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