Mumbai Bagh shows no signs of relenting

Never give up: Women at a protest at Mumbai Central on Wednesday.

Never give up: Women at a protest at Mumbai Central on Wednesday.  

Agitation against CAA, NRC enters third day; college students join in as volunteers

Close to 72 hours after it started, the sit-in on Mordell Road at Mumbai Central is still going strong with women managing their family and the protest for the third consecutive day on Wednesday. The agitation has gained popularity as Mumbai Bagh since it is similar to the month-long protest being held at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi.

Among themselves, they arranged for chairs for the elderly, and flasks of tea with paper cups were passed around throughout the day. Bamboo shoots bearing the Tricolour, which was earlier seen in the hands of the protesters, became permanent fixtures by evening.

The agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) started around 11 p.m. on Sunday with women gathering outside Arabia Hotel near Nagpada. The gathering soon took the form of a relay protest, with women relieving each other and men providing support. By Tuesday afternoon, at least 500 women had turned up, and the road was filled with women and children holding placards and the Tricolour. One such protester, Asma Khan, said she had been coming from the first day after tending to the needs of her family, which includes her five children.

“Women had not come out on the roads in such large numbers for issues like triple talaq and the Ayodhya verdict, but this is a matter of life or death. The Mumbai Bagh protest is a clear message that we will not leave here till the government recalls the CAA,” Ms. Khan said.

She also said, “The very road on which the protest is happening has been left half-constructed for a year and the government is spending money for unnecessary purposes.”

Meanwhile, many people, a majority of whom were college students, started volunteering for the protesters. Binte Muhammed (21), a student, said, “My future depends on the Constitution and if the Constitution is not safe there is no future. Home Minister Amit Shah’s statements were the reason that this protest started.”

Senior citizens too have been participating. Nasra Shaikh (60), a cancer patient, said she came to the protest on Monday afternoon and had been home for only four hours since then. “I went home around 5 a.m. and returned before noon after finishing the household chores and a two-hour nap. Although I am afflicted with cancer I will not stop protesting as long as I am capable,” she said.

Several people were seen cheering the protesters and educating them about various problems the people would face on account of the CAA and the NRC.

“The Home Minister should be ashamed of making such statements against the people of his own country. These two people in the government have lost their mind and trying to harm the Constitution, but now it is the time for Muslims to educate everyone about the laws,” Aamir Edresy, president of the Association of Muslim Professionals, said.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 10:05:49 AM |

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