Thousands of protesters in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh area welcomed the New Year by singing the national anthem and chanting Inquilab Zindabad slogans in the freezing temperature. These protesters, mostly women, have been camping at Shaheen Bagh and silently protesting against the amended Citizenship Act for several weeks now.
Some women had even brought children to the protest site. One woman Saima was quoted by NDTV as saying, “I can see that my kids don’t have a future. As a mother, to save their future, I am out here protesting. Our rights should be given to us. And this is not just my fight. It’s about saving the Constitution too. A lot of Indians across the country will face problems due to lack of documents.”
Last week, Janta Ka Reporter reported how the cops and other government agencies trying to intimidate the protesters had no idea about the strength of India’s secular bonding at the site of the Shaheen Bagh protest. Writer Pratishtha Singh had reported from the protest venue stating how the government agencies had no idea how unbreakable the spirit of India was.
#ShaheenBagh perhaps the only place in India ushering in the new year with the national anthem.
— Aditya Menon (@AdityaMenon22) December 31, 2019
These protesters sang India’s national anthem even as Delhi recorded the second coldest night for 118 years. The amended Citizenship Act provides automatic citizenship to non-Muslim illegal immigrants living in India.
Countrywide protests broke out after the parliament approved the Citizenship Amendment Bill. As many as nine state governments have announced that they will not implement the amended Citizenship Act in their states. The Kerala assembly has already passed a motion rejecting the act.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had moved the resolution against the act while accusing the BJP government of executing the RSS agenda of dividing the nation along communal lines. “I want to make it clear that no detention centres will come up in Kerala. Kerala has a long history of secularism, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, everyone reached our land. Christians and Muslims reached Kerala in the very beginning. Our tradition is of inclusiveness. Our assembly needs to keep the tradition alive,” Vijayan was quoted by News18.