Tricolour, Hyderabadi witticism dominate protest


Many reached venue out of a ‘sense of duty’

It was a sea of saffron, white and green — the Tricolour — which dominated the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Register of Citizens and National Population Register, at Dharna Chowk on Saturday.

Protesters reached the venue in unexpected, yet unprecedented numbers, from several parts of the city, including the University College of Science, Saifabad, in Masab Tank. While permission was not given for the rally, with several protesters reaching the venue on foot, it appeared that it was. Traffic was thrown out of gear even as protesters raised slogans in small groups at and near the venue.

Several shops and business establishments had to down their shutters in Old City and other parts of the town, in solidarity with the protest. Some schools and colleges too, had given the day off to its staff and students.

Interestingly, police in Old City allegedly began taking down anti-CAA, NRC and NPR posters, from the shutters of establishments closed for the day. While the JAC against CAA, NRC and NPR gave the protest call, a vast majority of protesters, observers said, arrived at the venue voluntarily and out of a “sense of duty”.

“I work with a banking corporation. My wife and I are here simply because we need to convey a message that the direction towards which the country is heading is wrong. The BJP is breaking the country apart,” said Abdus Samad. When asked how he got to know of the protest, he said, “It was all over social media. Apart from one or two speakers, I do not know them.”

The protests were not without Hyderabadi witticism. Placards had sardonic slogans and dark humour.

“Abba ke waalid Dada humaare, who bakra paalte thhe, baakra kaaghazaat khaa gaya” (My grandfather had a pet sheep that ate his documents), one placard read.

And how can one dissociate baigan (eggplant), a sign of exasperation, from a Hyderabadi joke? “Yaha biryani ke saath piyaz dhoonde toh nai milri, 50 saal ke documents kya milte baigan” (It is impossible to find onions in biryani, how can one find 50-year-old documents baigan).

Another read, “Hum to wazu bhi nahi tootney detey, mulk kya khaaq tootne dengey” (We don’t break out ablutions, leave alone letting the country break apart).

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 3:28:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tricolour-hyderabadi-witticism-dominate-protest/article30481290.ece

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