I’m a Muslim woman protesting CAA, those that support my cause value India’s Constitution, writes Jamia’s Ladeeda Sakhaloon

  • Many might have different approaches to protests against CAA and NRC which explicitly propagates the politics of Muslim extermination

  • There are various opinions and discussion among the university students on how to raise the issue politically, how long to sustain the protests

  • But it can be observed that everyone has a minimum understanding on whom this Act targets and whom the Sangh Parivar is trying to eliminate

Many might have different approaches to protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Act and National Register of Citizens (NRC) which explicitly propagates the politics of Muslim extermination. There are various opinions and discussion among university students on how to raise the issue politically, how long to sustain the protests in the streets and what slogans should be raised. But it can be observed that everyone has a minimum understanding on whom this Act targets and whom the Sangh Parivar is trying to eliminate.

 I’m a Muslim woman protesting CAA, those that support my cause value India’s Constitution, writes Jamia’s Ladeeda Sakhaloon

Ladeeda Sakhaloon (Centre) protesting the Citizenship Amendment Act at Jamia Millia Islamia university in Delhi.

I would like to make two statements in this regard. Firstly, the solidarity and protests should recognise the sentiments of the community which is targeted through this Act. I'm a Muslim woman. A large proportion of protesters are Muslims. So, all those supporting the fight against CAA and NRC should respect the political stand and slogans that reflect their dignity and pride. Secondly, it is clear that the Sangh Parivar is imposing this Act to overturn the Indian Constitution. I believe that all groups who come together to protect the Constitution are basically part of the struggle to preserve the existence of Muslims in India. This is because of the fact that  constitutional values are being destroyed by a fascist government, largely on Muslim issues.

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The fact is that the protests at Jamia Millia Islamia gained momentum after the president gave his assent to the Bill and turned it into law. The rage of the students against this discriminatory Act of a fascist government is evident from the massive participation of students in the flash march called by the women residents of Jamia Millia Girls' Hostel on 12 December. The next day, different student organisations called for a Parliament march from the campus. Thousands of students, locals and activists joined the march on 13 December, the last day of Parliament's Winter Session. However, Delhi Police barricaded the road and stopped the march through lathi-charge, fired tear gas shells, and pelted stones at protesters. Fifty students were detained and many, including women, were taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Reactionary attacks to police brutality turned the campus and the main road into a war zone-like-situation for the entire day. The police continued to harass students inside campus. The slogans and placards raised by the protesting students were against the politics of Muslim extermination by a Hindutva government through CAA and NRC. The protest is on a scale greater than anything Jamia Millia Islamia has ever witnessed, and is reflected everywhere on campus through graffiti, slogans and mass sit-ins.

Being students of an eminent university in the National Capital during an important phase of our lives, this struggle holds its own prominence as it is a fight for our very existence. It can be witnessed in every student in Jamia Millia Islamia. One thing I noticed within my short time at Jamia is the constant struggle of students until they achieve their demands. This mobilising power against a fascist government will make changes in India. Because it is led by students.

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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2019 08:17:07 IST