The anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest at Jamia Millia Islamia on 19th March 2020 completed its 94 days and is being considered one of the longest continuous protests against discriminatory citizenship acts across the country.
The weather has been unusually chilly this March, with heavy rain and hailstorms in Delhi. The people at the Jamia protest are shouting out slogans and pouring out deep motivational speeches of how the Freedom Fighters of the country never gave up.
Ayisha, who has been the core organizer of the protest, tells how from 90 plus days the protest against CAA-NRC-NPR has been going on but to their disappointment, no change has taken place. She with much firmness also told how they won’t give up until and unless they get a firm announcement from the Government against CAA-NRC-NPR.
When asked why there aren’t as many people as there were in the starting of the protest and if it is affecting the protest in any way she says, “There are many students who have their exams and many people who have their jobs to go to but that doesn’t mean we have become weak. Our will is as strong as it was when the protest started. Sundays are when we have the highest amount of people with us and when it comes to a protest which is going on 24*7, it is common that the number of people will decrease. And most of the credit goes to the elder women who have been with us whether it has been sunny or storm. I would convey my Inquilabi salam to their iron will”
Gazala, a single mother of two independent working daughters who has been a part of this protest since the starting says that they are hopeful that the government will listen to them, “The numbers may have decreased but we will be persistent, we are quite happy to hear that Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal has announced that NPR won’t be implemented in Delhi. Let’s see how resolute he is.”
“The police violence on Jamia students that took place on 15th December 2019 shook the University’s’ very soul to the core. Even after VC Najma Akhtar’s announcement that an FIR will be filed, no case whatsoever has been registered till now which directly questions her accountability as a Vice-Chancellor.”
Salma Bi with gleaming eyes because of the heavy rain says, “Allah ki neymat hai yeh baarish (This rain is a blessing.) Our only goal is to make people aware of how unfair this act is. They should know what the condition of this country is; my own children don’t have jobs. But we won’t complain, we don’t want the foreigners to pity us. We are a respectable democracy. We have had our ups and downs. Our only complaint is against this act, why are the people being denied citizenship. The elite may get their documents prepared but what about the poor?”
Saher Hiba Khan is a freelance journalist based in New Delhi and she studies English literature at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.