Mumbai

Anti-CAA, NRC protesters take inspiration from the Mahatma

A silent protest in progress near Mira Road station on Thursday.

A silent protest in progress near Mira Road station on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Trupti Arekar

Silent protests, event to remember his teachings mark Gandhi’s death anniversary

On the 72nd death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Mumbai on Thursday paid its respects to the Father of the Nation with silent protests and by remembering his teachings.

Members of the Alliance Against CAA, NRC and NPR of Mumbai gathered for silent protests near Dadar, Sandhurst Road, Malad, Andheri, Mira Road and Bandra railway stations with placards, the Tricolour and Gandhi’s portraits.

Shakir Shaikh, a member of the alliance, said, “We wanted to make sure there is no second assassination of people who are filled with courage and might like the Mahatma. Gandhi, not his goals, were shot down. We wanted to send a message to the government to focus on unemployment and other problems, and to make sure there is no discrimination due to one’s belief.”

At the Mahatma’s statue near Mantralaya, Gandhi’s favourite bhajans played at a programme organised by We The People of India.

Activist Feroz Mithiborwala said, “We had two different calls. One was a national appeal to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. irrespective of whether people are at work, home or anywhere else. The second is through gathering people to chant the Sarv Dharm Prarthana for peace and harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Rajmohan Gandhi participates in a prayer meeting on Thursday.

Mahatma Gandhi’s great grandson Rajmohan Gandhi participates in a prayer meeting on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: Mitesh Bhuvad

Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Rajmohan Gandhi was also present at the programme. “Gandhiji’s first struggle was the struggle in South Africa around 1907, where he was fighting for the rights of the Hindus, Parsis and local Indians who were being stripped off their citizenship. I would like to make it clear to everyone, not as his grandson but also his student, that Gandhi never introduced, nor would he have been a supporter of, the CAA,” he said.

Mr. Gandhi said he had three requests of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah: scrapping the CAA, or amending it to give shelter in India to anyone who is facing injustice across borders irrespective of religion or any other bias, and announcing that NRC is not going to be implemented and NPR would be taken back as well.

Fahad Ahmed, a student leader from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, said the current situation is entirely against what Gandhi stood for. “The shooting of the Jamia student today is symbolic of what the country has come to,” he said.

Protesters hold up a placard in front of Gandhji’s statue near Mantralaya.

Protesters hold up a placard in front of Gandhji’s statue near Mantralaya.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

U.S. national Nick (he did not wish to give his full name), who has been working in India for four years, called Gandhi the global symbol of peace. “It is sad to see how his teachings and lessons are not being implemented and how the fascists of all the nations have become friends,” Nick said.

The programme near Mantralaya ended with a reading of the Preamble followed by a two-minute silence at 5.15 p.m., around the time when the Mahatma was shot dead in 1948.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 7:44:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/anti-caa-nrc-protesters-take-inspiration-from-the-mahatma/article30696809.ece

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