Other States

Shaheen Bagh inspires Rajasthan towns

Muslim women during a protest against CAA, NRC and NPR at Shahid Smarak in Jaipur. File

Muslim women during a protest against CAA, NRC and NPR at Shahid Smarak in Jaipur. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

Anti-CAA stir replicated in many areas

Inspired by Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh protest, the indefinite sit-in against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) at Shaheed Smarak here entered 11th day on Monday, with the participating men being outnumbered by women. The protests have also been replicated in several towns of Rajasthan.

Held under the banner of Samvidhan Evum Loktantra Bachao Abhiyan, the protest in Jaipur has drawn the participants from the Walled City neighbourhoods as well as the posh residential colonies. Two young girls, Nishat Fatima and Hadiya, dressed in the national tricolour, were the centre of attraction at the venue.

Women take lead

Though the representatives of various groups have been coming to extend their support to protesters, women have taken the lead in managing the affairs at the venue, situated just outside the Police Commissioner’s office. After the initial scepticism, though permission was obtained through official channels, policemen watch the proceedings with interest and have ensured security of the park.

Creative ways

The participants have devised creative ways of protest every day and rendered poems, songs and slogans on different themes to make the agitation attractive. The protesters celebrated birthday of Guru Ravidas, the mystic poet-saint of the Bhakti movement, at the venue on Sunday.

Bhim Army leader Neelam Kranti said the BJP government at the Centre wanted to divide the citizens on religious lines through the CAA and the NRC, but the common people would not allow this to happen. “We are here not just to save our Constitution, but also to protect our diversity which has kept the country united after Independence,” she said.

Paudi Kumari from the Assam unit of All India Progressive Women’s Association threw light on the hardships faced by people in her State during the preparation of the NRC, which, she said, had turned out to be a “futile exercise.” Communist Party of India’s Sumitra Chopra said the agitation would continue until the government repealed the CAA and announced in clear terms that it had no intention to bring in NRC as well as the National Population Register.

Blood donation camp

Similar round-the-clock protests have started in the towns such as Chittorgarh, Bundi, Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Sikar. While a blood donation camp was organised at the protest venue in Kota, situated near Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla’s residence, a candle march was held and black balloons were released in the sky in Sikar.

Sikar-based activist Ashfaq Kayamkhani said the protesters were expecting the ruling Congress leaders to come and assure them of the State government’s support, especially after the Assembly passed a resolution against the CAA last month. While former CPI(M) MLA Amra Ram addressed the gathering in Sikar, Congress MLA Amin Kagzi came to Shaheed Smarak here on Sunday and delivered a speech.

Reading of Preamble

The iconic Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur is also a venue for two-hour anti-CAA protest every day. Braving chilly winds, women and children have been joining the protest every evening since January 2. Their agitation concludes with a reading of the Preamble to the Constitution in the presence of Indian and foreign tourists visiting the 130-year-old museum.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 6:39:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/shaheen-bagh-inspires-rajasthan-towns/article30785246.ece

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