A surprising nugget of information that emerged at the Kalina Campus of Mumbai University yesterday, as the anti-CAB protests were on in full swing, with a couple of thousand people in attendance, was that many were not aware of how the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 and the National Register of Citizens (NCR) would actually affect them.
They were there to protest the violence meted out by the Delhi Police in the Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) on Sunday.
As the crowd gathered outside the main gate of the university, the police opened the gate at around 4;15 pm. But the protesters continued to raise slogans outside. Even when they began to move inside, the crowd outside swelled until it was almost on the road. At this point, the police firmly ushered everyone inside.
This point was brought up again at the Joint Action Committee meeting held in the offices of the Students’ Islamic Organisation in Kurla, after the demonstrations. Holding the protest outside might have attracted more attention from the aam aadmi it was felt. This way, it was contained within the campus and concerned mainly those who were well aware of the movement.
The students had come from a large number of city institutions, including St. Xaviers College, K C College and St. Pauls Media School. There were also some well-known faces, including television actor Sushant Singh and Ruben Mascarenhas of the Aam Aadmi Party, along with co-convenor Kishore Mandhyan.
The JAC meeting at Kurla suggested having protests at prominent places in Mumbai like the CSMT station, Churchgate Station and the Oval Maidan at peak hours, when the protestors can make their presence felt and the message about the nature of the CAB and NRC can be reached to a large number of people.
Another recommendation was for the protest to be more creative in a non – violent way, like a mass meditation at Shivaji park or Oval Maidan or street plays to attract attention. Instead of having protests at various pockets in the city by various organizations, one large protest held by various organizations coming together with one united demand to repeal the CAA was suggested.
With hopes to spread more awareness amongst the crowd and make a positive impact, a ‘massive protest rally against CAB & NRC’ is going to be held on December 27.
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