Singer Zubeen Garg sings a song for people killed during the protests against Citizenship Amendment Act

Updated: 19 December, 2019 21:30 IST | PTI |

At the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, a lot of people lost their lives and singer Zubeen Garg dedicated a song to them

Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Zubeen Garg
Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Zubeen Garg

Touching an emotional chord with fellow protesters, popular singer Zubeen Garg on Thursday crooned a poignant song remembering those killed during the ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation in Assam. A large number of protesters, including children, gathered at the Assam Engineering Institute's grounds at Chandmari area here and reiterated their demand that seeks to revoke of the CAA.

Garg, who has been vocally supportive of the movement, and other well-known personalities from the arts field, participated in the event organised by the artiste community, which was supported by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU).
"We have gathered here to reaffirm our resolve to continue our fight until the CAA is revoked. We remember the people who have died during the agitation over the last several days. May their soul rest in peace," the singer, who has belted popular Bollywood numbers like Ya Ali and Subah Subah, told the gathering that included a large number of women.

Garg then did an emotional rendition of one of his well known Assamese songs Mrityu etiya hohoj (death is easy), as people joined him and sang along while others intently watched him perform on stage. Five people have died during the ongoing protests across Assam. Four of them in Guwahati in firing by security forces.

Two minors, Sam Stafford and Dipanjal Das were among the four killed in Guwahati and both were hailed as "martyrs" by locals. "The song sung by Zubeen is a very moving one, and one can see how people got emotional. Sam and Dipanjal were so young, and their deaths have caused extreme grief among us Assamese," said 24-year-old Roop Jyoti Sarma, a college student, who protested against the CAA.

Sarma who hails from neighbouring Barpeta district said that people joined protests on Thursday despite it being a working day.
Other Assamese artistes who joined, included singers Manas Robin and Neqib, and musician Ajay Phukan. Chants of Jai Ai Axom (Glory to Mother Assam) and CAA aami namanu (Will not accept CAA) rent the air, as men and women, many wearing traditional gamosas raised their hands in unison, reaffirming the resolve to fight the contentious legislation tooth and nail.

AASU's chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya in his address alleged that the government was using the triple ploy of "daman, pralobhan, and vibhajan (suppression, enticement, and division) to weaken our movement. "For nine days, they (government) have shut mobile internet, impinging on rights of people. What are they afraid of," he asked.

The Chandmari protest, which took place a day after a massive demonstration by people at Latasil playground, was high on emotions, like poetry, songs and music added to the atmosphere. Many women chanted slogans as their children played around. Some mothers were seen sitting at the venue with infants in their laps. Neelima Debi, a businesswoman who attended the protest, said, she was hopeful that the Supreme Court "will listen to the voices of aggrieved Assamese".

"We don't want the CAA. The Centre is not listening to Assamese people, but the judiciary should," she asserted. The protesters have been alleging that the legislation is "anti-constitutional, deeply polarising" and "violates" the Assam Accord.

"On December 21, AASU will organise all-women protests in Guwahati at Latasil playground and in rural areas of Assam to drive home our message to people in Delhi," he said, drawing a loud cheer from the crowd.
A few artists performed Bihu songs, themed on anti-CAA, and one of the singers sang, "Assamese are fighters and we will fight with all our might".

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First Published: 19 December, 2019 21:20 IST

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