anti caa


The Young India Against CAA-NPR-NRC march was held on 3rd March at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi. The march had been popularised with the slogan of “Delhi Chalo” and was earlier scheduled for 11 a.m. at Ram Lila Maidan.

Dilli Chalo, a march called by Young India against CAA-NRC-NPR and several other organisations such as All India Students’ Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS), All India Students’ Federation (AISF), and so on was scheduled to take place at 11 AM. The march had been called to start at Ramlila Maidan, from where the procession would march to Jantar Mantar where several youth leaders and activists were going to address the gathering. Before 11 AM itself, the Delhi Police seized all the buses in North Campus, which students from several different colleges had hired to take them to the protest sight and had even detained the drivers, according to some sources, more than 500 people had been detained by 12 AM and buses from other universities and indefinite protests had also been stopped.

Seeing the Delhi Police’s swift response against peaceful protestors, a question is left begging to be answered. How can a police force which can detain 500+ peaceful protestors in less than an hour for no reason take days to control a riot?

Out of those detained, few were taken to Chandni Mahal Thana, while a lot of other people were driven outside Delhi and kept there by the police until 5 PM. One student along with a group of 15 other protestors was taken to Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Bawana and kept locked inside by the Police until 5 PM, they were then taken and dropped off somewhere near the Delhi Border and had to walk kilometers to find an auto.

Despite all this, the march was changed to a protest gathering at Jantar Mantar, where 100 of students and concerned citizens showed up despite the short notice to raise their voice against the state sponsored pogroms in North-East Delhi, the fascist Government, and the unconstitutional islamophobic CAA-NRC-NPR exercise. Some of the speakers today were Aishe Ghosh, President of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Students’ Union, Chandrashekar Azad, the leader of the Bhim Army, Umar Khalid, social activist, Shadab Najar, student shot at Jamia Millie Islamia Violence and many more.

One of the peculiar things about the Jantar Mantar protest was the security check conducted. Delhi Police checked the bags of all protestors, and when lighters or a pack of cigarettes were found in a female’s bag, they shamed her and said, “Ladkiyan bhi smoke karengi toh desh toh barbad hoga na” (Women who smoke ruin the country). They even made lewd comments about women’s clothing.

On speaking with DU Beat, Umar Khalid elucidates on how this movement against the CAA-NRC-NPR is leaderless and faceless and how that can be seen as a strength. He says “ye movement ka strength hai ki iska koi ek leader nahi hai, ek leader ko jail mai daalke iss movement ko band nahi kiya jaa sakta, ek party ke against action karke iss movement ko band nahi kiya jaa sakta, jaffrabad and northeast delhi mai dange karake desh bhar ke movement ko repress nahi kar sakte (the strength of this movement is because there is no single leader, putting one leader wont stop the movement, taking action against one political party wont stop the movement, instigating riots in north east delhi wont repress the movement.) The Decentralized nature is the strength of this movement.”

When asked further about the need for a face for the movement, he says that will only be necessary when the Centre would be willing to talk to the protestors, which he points out both the Home Ministry and the Central Government have refused to do on several occasions.

Other than this, Chandrashekhar Azad, Bhim Army Chief, spoke on the values of Ambedkar and use of CAA-NRC-NPR to suppress the minorities. He even encouraged people to mobilise and added motivation to lead the movement forward, while highlight the reckless use of sedition law by the Government.

One of the most kind-hearted sights, was a Daadi, from the resistance of Shaheen Bagh, who shared her heartwarming anecdotes with the gathering.

Student organisation from all over India came together, and some even performed parodies of popular songs, to criticise the Government and to present their dissent.

The roads of Jantar Mantar were etched with beautiful slogans, and graphics, which bring us to notice that protestors are using words, art, and knowledge to bring change, and that is the most rightful way to express dissent.

Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat.

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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 Chhavi Bahmba 

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In a shocking incident, an armed,unidentified  person entered the premises of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI), brandishing a gun and fired at a gathering of anti-CAA protesters, injuring one student.

Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) have reverberated throughout the country in recent times, with JNU, a premier institution situated in the Capital, being one of the foremost centres of open dissent. During one such demonstration of dissent, albeit a peaceful one, students of the university had gathered for a march to Rajpath when they were confronted by a man brandishing a handgun. He reportedly shouted slogans – “azaadi chahiye? Ye lo azaadi (You want freedom? Here, have your freedom) before firing shots at the protesters, injuring one student. The victim, Shadab Najar, a student of the Mass Communication and Research Centre (MCRC Department) at the University, was shot in the arm and was immediately rushed for treatment. The shooter, who was later found to be a juvenile, is currently in police custody, while the condition of the victim is stable. 

This chilling incident occurred just a day after Anurag Thakur, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) and Union Minister gave a controversial speech at a rally in Delhi, where he used the words “goli maaro” (shoot them) while speaking against the anti-CAA demonstrations in the country. The Jamia Teachers’ Association, which condemned the incident, blamed the Union Minister’s speech for the incident, stating, “We are convinced that this shooting, which could have been fatal, was the direct result of the call to goli maaro or shoot by an elected Member of Parliament”.  

There was widespread public outrage over the inability of the Delhi Police to prevent the incident, despite being present in large numbers on the scene. A Jamia Professor, on the condition of anonymity, said, “the incident unfolded right in front of the police and they were mute spectators to it.”

Praveer Ranjan, Delhi Police Special Commissioner, rubbished claims of complacency against the force, and asserted that a quick reaction wasn’t possible since the incident happened in a split of a second. Footage of videos shot by eye witnesses show that the Police a few feet from the assailant, stood still, in a defensive position. Delhi Police did manage to catch the shooter, preventing further damage.

The assailant, found to be only seventeen years old, was produced before the Juvenile Justice Board and sent to protective custody for 14 days. Police officials present at the hearing told NDTV that the accused reportedly planned to create the same situation at Shaheen Bagh but ultimately decided to go near the the Jamia campus instead. They also reported that he seemed to have been influenced by inflammatory posts on social media. An investigation into his Facebook posts revealed instances of pro-Hindutva slogans, and photos with firearms. Home Minister Amit Shah called for stringent criminal proceedings against the assailant.

The victim was admitted to AIIMS Trauma Centre and discharged the next day in a stable condition.

Social media stood united in the denouncement of the incident, with pictures of the victim, supportive messages and criticisms against violent elements, and the inertia of the police, being circulated across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. “Such an incident happening inside a prominent educational institution, especially a day before Martyrs’ Day, endangers the sanctity of education and the integrity of the nation,” opined Arnav Agrawal, a University of Delhi, student residing near the campus.

Feature Image Credits – India Today

Feature Image Caption – Shadab Najar, Student of Jamia Millia Islamia, who was shot by the assailant for protesting.

Araba Kongbam

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Being the largest democracy of the world, India gives liberty to its citizens to decide their political inclination. However, if one chooses to be apolitical, they must not turn a blind eye to what is morally right and what is wrong

It has been weeks since educational institutions all over the country decided to unite against the discriminatory tendencies of the ruling Government by organizing protests and marches at a variety of locations. The grounds that bind all of these protests and marches together are the fights against the exclusivity of Muslims, Hindu fascism and the marginalization of several communities. 

Students from numerous educational institutions have shown solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI). Not a few years ago, most universities and colleges preferred to side with that political option which would save them from ‘troubles’, but over the years, students have widened their political views and are actively participating in protests and demonstrations because a collective voice is what we need to bring changes in this unjust system. 

In light of the tense political environment of our country, many social media personalities, actors, and stand up comedians had attended different protests in different cities to support the students of JNU and JMI. These countrywide protests saw the footfall of thousands of students. Moreover, some students claimed to have attended protests for the ‘fear of missing out’ or as some may call it, FOMO. 

There is no doubt about the fact that social media played a huge role in uniting all the students together, and since these media personalities have a large number of followers, majority of them being students, the political scenario has changed drastically over the years. These students are taking more interest in politics and are engaging in debates as well. There are still a few colleges who chose to remain apolitical. Students of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College (SGTB Khalsa) called the apolitical stance of their College cowardly and ignorant, as no official solidarity statement was released by the Students’ Union. 


Image credits- Mashable India

Suhani Malhotra

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As people come out on the streets every day to protest the draconian and unconstitutional laws of the government, an ode to the women who are the centre of revolution in our city.

The air is different here, Shaheen Bagh’s corners and roads echo with the cries of azadi and inquilab zindabad. A walk through Shaheen Bagh shows many things, toddlers and small children chanting azadi, a mother sitting who wants her baby’s first word to be azadi, songs of resistance playing over the speaker. With dissent and revolution in the air, one question becomes evident. How did this start and what is the significance?

The indefinite sit-in began the day after the Delhi Police entered Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) and brutally unleashed violence on peacefully protesting students, even attacking those who were just in their hostels or the Central Library. What began as 10-15 women sitting and indefinitely protesting against the unconstitutional and Islamophobic CAA-NRC-NPR has now catalysed into a much larger protest site. The entire street has become a space for dissent in many forms, with speakers, singers, and artists all doing everything, a roadside library for people to study and read in, medical have all come up to help these brave women . Shaheen Bagh has also served as a model for many other similar indefinite sit-in protests, all led by brave women who have left everything behind to protest against fascism. Seelampur Jaffrabad, Inderlok Metro Station, Khureji, Hauz Rani, Ghantaghar in Lucknow and many other similar protest sights coming up all over the country to protest. 

The women of Shaheen Bagh and other such protests have come to symbolise so much in these dark times. In a country where gender roles and stereotypes have a large and pervasive role, Shaheen Bagh also stands a symbol fighting these unjust stereotypes. These stereotypes have been seen in several protests, an example being the Anti-CAA rally held in Lucknow on the 19th of December, where women were told to stand away from the main protesting crowd, and not allowed to go into the centre of the protest by their male counterparts and were told that “beech mai mat aaye, ye safe nahi hai” ( don’t come in between, it’s not safe).

The women of Shaheen Bagh and women throughout history, along with fighting the injustices of the time have smashed the patriarchal stereotypes which depict women as frail and weak. The strength shown by these women is an inspiration for all those who are protesting and dissenting against the Government and its policies. In these times of brutality and suppression, these women have done the bravest thing they could do, stand up and speak, and the entire country is listening.


Feature Image Credits: Manav Ahuja and Jassman for DU Beat

Prabhanu Kumar Das

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‘Ab bhi jiska khoon na khaula, khoon nhi woh paani hai, jo desh ke kaam na aaye, wo bekar jawani hai’, Rang De Basanti has registered itself as the very best form of narration from Bollywood over the past decades but has this tale found itself as the natural stimulus record of youth agitation and neo-patriotism?

When a bunch of young, restless and carefree students from Delhi University rise against the government’s actions, demanding justice and due resignation of a Union Minister who is responsible for the harsh consequences endowed upon their friend and his family, the ensuing repercussions take atrocious turns by the hands of the state. The above mentioned lines forms the premise of the 2006 Republic Day release Rang De Basanti, that celebrated youth and revolution like never before, since the National Freedom Struggle. It was only when these lines from this grand celluloid marvel gained relevance in the stark happenings throughout the nation that Rang De Basanti became the perfect manifestation of the ongoing struggle of students against the government and it’s policies like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) & the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The popular adage ‘films are the reflections of society’ couldn’t have asked for a better paradigm than Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s cult classic Rang De Basanti, that narrates and encapsulates the essence of true patriotism which was in passé in an age of pseudo patriotism and cloud of fraudulence. The film while narrating the tale of the Indian freedom struggle and deeds of our heroes like Bhagat Singh, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqullah Khan, Ramprasad Bismil, Sukhdev, Rajguru, and Durga Bhabhi, reinstates the essential quest for better and truly free India in a generation of liberalized, west-influenced & apolitical students who have lost hope in the India that the revolutionaries and freedom fighters fought for.

The continually decaying culture of historically informed and culturally envisioned youth which was absolutely unaware of the power it possessed and the influence it can promulgate; the diminishing culture of protests which was either a tale of old books or secluded from the young blood was transformed entirely in the scape of the tale in Rang De Basanti. It didn’t just prove to be a return to a sense of patriotism in the Young’s way but also increased democratic participation and belief in its principles.

From the energetic beats of Rahman, draped craftfully in Prasoon Joshi’s lyrics that gave us the Khoon Chala, Luka Chuppi, Rang De Basanti, or the youth’s anthem Robaroo & Khalbali, these sounds have found a rebirth as songs and poems of revolution in the ongoing protests around the nation. The story of the youth rebelling and leading with reformatory actions are the scene of the current state, where characters as diverse as a passed graduate to a rich brat, a skeptical student, an aspiring poet from humble Muslim background, a dedicated filmmaker, an honest right wing party worker and defense personnel, all get together to save the nation from the abyss, when needed.

The powerful dialogues like ‘Koi bhi desh mahaan nahi hota, use mahaan banana padta hai‘ have registered themselves in the form of posters, placards and pamphlets being passed around. In one scene from the movie where Aslam, played by Kunal Roy Kapoor, is seen designing a wall graffiti with slogans like Inquilab Zindabaad and a pint of pop culture, this has veritably inspired the artists who have crafted their minds out on walls and ways in Universities and other sites of protests.

The candlelight vigil at India Gate, was seen as a thought provoking idea by Mehra, Kamlesh Pandey and Rensil D’Silva, the ensuing instances in the country replicated this on various incidents, be it the Nirbhaya Case Or Jessica Lal Murder Case. Rang De Basanti (RDB) gave the nation a fresh way to protest – by mobilizing the youth. Coincidentally, the ongoing protests have been manhandled by the Police in the same way as the protesters were attacked in the movie when they gathered in support of Flight Lieutenant Ajay Rathod.

The enactment of freedom fighters by our reel life heroes did push them with the enthusiasm and made them aware of the change they can bring about, it wasn’t surprising to see the same cast of RDB with the names of Siddharth, Kunal Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan and Atul Kulkarni being the prominent voices from celebrity domain speaking out against the police actions in Jamia and JNU and backing the protesters.

The movie with it’s iconic climax of a frustrated youth taking on the government and inciting a spark of revolution among them after the heroes turned to alternate ways to seek justice and change saw stills from different universities of the country akin to what we witnessed in the case of the rotests in Jamia, JNU, DU & AMU.

Rang De Basanti leaves us with a very crucial lesson which must be the source of inspiration for each one of us that, ‘Zindagi jeene ke do hi tarike hote hai, ek jo ho raha hai hone do, bardaasht karte jao, ya phir zimmedari uthao usse badalne ki.’


Image Credits : India Times

Faizan Salik

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