Mumbai keeps protests alive, hundreds gather in Kurla

Questioning priorities: Protesters raise slogans against CAA and NRC during a meeting at Gandhi Maidan in Kurla on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Archisman Dash

The agitations against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) continue in Mumbai, with the latest protest being held in Kurla on Monday.

Around 500 residents of the locality and nearby areas gathered at Gandhi Maidan in Kurla (West) for the protest, which began around 2.30 p.m. The protesters said the country needs jobs, education and healthcare and not the CAA and NRC.

“The government should first give shelter to people, provide education and food and ensure employment before talking about CAA and NRC. If India is known for one thing across the world, it is for its secularism. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is trying to shear the secular identity from the country,” Faizan Ahmed Khan, on of the organisers, said.

The protesters displayed placards and raised slogans such as ‘CAA se aazadi’ (freedom from CAA) ‘Hindu Muslim Ekta Zindabaad Zindabaad’ (long live Hindu-Muslim unity) and ‘Jamia teri azmat ko assalaam assalaam’ (salute to you, o great Jamia), the latter being a reference to the courage and resilience shown by the students of the Jamia Milia Islamia. These students, and others from institutes across the country, bore the brunt of terrible atrocities by the police after they started protesting the laws.

Adil Ansari, a local resident, said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi wears clothes worth ₹15 lakh and travels in cars worth ₹200 crore, but doesn’t seem to have money for the children who died in Uttar Pradesh due to lack of oxygen cylinders. The BJP can spend ₹2 lakh crore for the National Population Register but not for the farmers and the poor people of India.”

The protest also witnessed attendance from members of the Congress party, who were seen in significant numbers. Ahmed Azmi, a general secretary with the party, said India is the world’s largest democracy and its Constitution is sacrosanct.

“The very basis of our Constitution is secularism, and hence, no law based on religion can ever be constitutional. On what basis are Muslims being excluded from the CAA? Aren’t Muslims citizens of India? This is an issue not just for Muslims or Hindus but for every Indian who believes in the Constitution,” he said.

Arshad Azmi, Congress corporator from Kurla, said the BJP has forgotten that it was the Congress which, with the support of the people of India, drove the British out of the country. “Today, we are gathered here to tell the BJP that if you have the power of the Parliament, we have the support of the people. The protests will continue till the CAA and NRC are revoked,” he said.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 1:19:49 AM |

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