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CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides

From multi-faith prayers to Sikhs offering langar to protestors at Shaheen Bagh, the CAA-NPR-NRC protests are a show of unity and solidarity

Sabrangindia 19 Jan 2020

 shaheen bagh

“I only know that I have grown up hearing the sounds of temple and church bells, Azaan from the mosque and Gurbani from the Gurdwara. I hear them and I feel I can get sound sleep,” said Rehana Shabnam, a Wasseypur homemaker to The Telegraph.

The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have rejected the communal colour that was sought to be spread across the country. People from all faiths, castes and socio-economic strata have come together in unity to voice their displeasure against the fascist CAA that the government imposed on its citizens.

Unity in diversity has always been India’s strength. Shabnam says, “In our country, we have survived natural calamities and external aggression because of mutual coordination, amity, and harmony among people of all religions, and now this, is simply drawing lines.”

Not that fear hasn’t gripped the minorities, Sufia Parween, another Wasseypur resident says, “As a student of sociology I can claim that the harmony with which people of different religions live in our country is unmatched. I’m fearful about the losing this harmony with the discriminatory CAA, NRC and NPR. That’s why I am at the dharna.

This harmony between Hindus and Muslims or even among other members of the society has been present in the veins of India for years. Celebrating festivals together and looking out for each other during trying times has always been the culture of the Indians.

At Shaheen Bagh, a Muslim neighbourhood that has seen women at the helm of protests, people from different faiths have come together to show their solidarity towards the minorities. A multi-faith prayer ceremony or “sarva dharma sambhava” had been organised where a Hindu-style “hawan” was conducted and chants of the Sikh “kirtan” reverberated in the air. Scriptures from the Gita, Bible, Quran and Gurbani were read and after that all the people came together to read the Preamble of the Constitution in their movement against the CAA.

The culture of India’s diversity became even more evident when a group of Sikh farmers from Punjab arrived to Shaheen Bagh, set up a tiny kitchen under a pedestrian bridge and prepared breakfast and lunch for more than a 1,000 people, including children, who were there protesting against the CAA.

Shabnam too reminisced of the fact that generations of people like her have received and given Diwali laddoos and sewai on Id. “It’s always been like this here, exchanging sweets on festivals, marriage invitations...this is how we live.”

In Delhi’s India Gate, where protests were on, 44-year-old Mohammad Fuaad leaned over a police barricade on a chilly winter night offering Veg Biryani to protestors; while Khalsa Aid held a ‘chai langar’ helping protestors soothe themselves with piping cups of tea.

Taking a jibe at PM Modi, Ajaz Ahmad, a tea seller selling ‘secular chai’ at Shaheen Bagh says, “Chaiwale, teri chai unsecular hai,” a dig based on his 2014 election campaign where Modi said he was a tea seller in his childhood.

The protests that had started with Assam fighting to protect its indigenous identity soon spread throughout the country as people started unravelling and understanding the intentions behind the implementation of the CAA and NRC.

The final straw was the attack on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University by the police, after which the students from all across the country roared against the divisive law notwithstanding the pressure tactics of the government. Defying Section 144 that the government so arbitrarily slammed across the nation, nothing deterred the will of the people who withstood the barrage of lathis, tear gas, bullets and even stun grenades to protect the Constitution of India from getting torn apart.

From them, the baton was passed to the women, who became the brave face of the protests, tackling work and family responsibilities and still making their presence felt, understanding how adversely the NRC would affect them if implemented.

Young and old alike have come to the streets singing songs of defiance, of bravery and of resistance. Shaheen Bagh, the icon of women-led protests made its presence felt everywhere in the country.

Academics, actors, politicians, students and people from not just India, but even across borders stood against the government’s fascist policy and in solidarity with the people who were killed during the protests and the students who were attacked by the administration.

But more than a show of solidarity that has emerged in people taking care of each other during this trying time, what is more apparent is the common voice that has cut across all religious and communal lines and which is asking the same question as Maulana Mubarak Hasan from Wasseypur asks, “Why is the information for genealogy being sought under the NPR? Our forefathers were born and brought up in this land and sacrificed their lives to secure freedom from foreign rulers. Now we are asked to submit proof of our citizenship?”

Related:

Shaheen Bagh is everywhere!
Shaheen Bagh – The Playground of Resistance
More than 300,000 women take to the streets against CAA and NRC in Malegaon

 

CAA-NPR-NRC protests cut across all religious and communal divides

From multi-faith prayers to Sikhs offering langar to protestors at Shaheen Bagh, the CAA-NPR-NRC protests are a show of unity and solidarity

 shaheen bagh

“I only know that I have grown up hearing the sounds of temple and church bells, Azaan from the mosque and Gurbani from the Gurdwara. I hear them and I feel I can get sound sleep,” said Rehana Shabnam, a Wasseypur homemaker to The Telegraph.

The protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) have rejected the communal colour that was sought to be spread across the country. People from all faiths, castes and socio-economic strata have come together in unity to voice their displeasure against the fascist CAA that the government imposed on its citizens.

Unity in diversity has always been India’s strength. Shabnam says, “In our country, we have survived natural calamities and external aggression because of mutual coordination, amity, and harmony among people of all religions, and now this, is simply drawing lines.”

Not that fear hasn’t gripped the minorities, Sufia Parween, another Wasseypur resident says, “As a student of sociology I can claim that the harmony with which people of different religions live in our country is unmatched. I’m fearful about the losing this harmony with the discriminatory CAA, NRC and NPR. That’s why I am at the dharna.

This harmony between Hindus and Muslims or even among other members of the society has been present in the veins of India for years. Celebrating festivals together and looking out for each other during trying times has always been the culture of the Indians.

At Shaheen Bagh, a Muslim neighbourhood that has seen women at the helm of protests, people from different faiths have come together to show their solidarity towards the minorities. A multi-faith prayer ceremony or “sarva dharma sambhava” had been organised where a Hindu-style “hawan” was conducted and chants of the Sikh “kirtan” reverberated in the air. Scriptures from the Gita, Bible, Quran and Gurbani were read and after that all the people came together to read the Preamble of the Constitution in their movement against the CAA.

The culture of India’s diversity became even more evident when a group of Sikh farmers from Punjab arrived to Shaheen Bagh, set up a tiny kitchen under a pedestrian bridge and prepared breakfast and lunch for more than a 1,000 people, including children, who were there protesting against the CAA.

Shabnam too reminisced of the fact that generations of people like her have received and given Diwali laddoos and sewai on Id. “It’s always been like this here, exchanging sweets on festivals, marriage invitations...this is how we live.”

In Delhi’s India Gate, where protests were on, 44-year-old Mohammad Fuaad leaned over a police barricade on a chilly winter night offering Veg Biryani to protestors; while Khalsa Aid held a ‘chai langar’ helping protestors soothe themselves with piping cups of tea.

Taking a jibe at PM Modi, Ajaz Ahmad, a tea seller selling ‘secular chai’ at Shaheen Bagh says, “Chaiwale, teri chai unsecular hai,” a dig based on his 2014 election campaign where Modi said he was a tea seller in his childhood.

The protests that had started with Assam fighting to protect its indigenous identity soon spread throughout the country as people started unravelling and understanding the intentions behind the implementation of the CAA and NRC.

The final straw was the attack on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University by the police, after which the students from all across the country roared against the divisive law notwithstanding the pressure tactics of the government. Defying Section 144 that the government so arbitrarily slammed across the nation, nothing deterred the will of the people who withstood the barrage of lathis, tear gas, bullets and even stun grenades to protect the Constitution of India from getting torn apart.

From them, the baton was passed to the women, who became the brave face of the protests, tackling work and family responsibilities and still making their presence felt, understanding how adversely the NRC would affect them if implemented.

Young and old alike have come to the streets singing songs of defiance, of bravery and of resistance. Shaheen Bagh, the icon of women-led protests made its presence felt everywhere in the country.

Academics, actors, politicians, students and people from not just India, but even across borders stood against the government’s fascist policy and in solidarity with the people who were killed during the protests and the students who were attacked by the administration.

But more than a show of solidarity that has emerged in people taking care of each other during this trying time, what is more apparent is the common voice that has cut across all religious and communal lines and which is asking the same question as Maulana Mubarak Hasan from Wasseypur asks, “Why is the information for genealogy being sought under the NPR? Our forefathers were born and brought up in this land and sacrificed their lives to secure freedom from foreign rulers. Now we are asked to submit proof of our citizenship?”

Related:

Shaheen Bagh is everywhere!
Shaheen Bagh – The Playground of Resistance
More than 300,000 women take to the streets against CAA and NRC in Malegaon

 

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