Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati
Drawing inspiration from Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, several cities across the country have organised sit-in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. In almost all these cases, it is the women who have taken the lead. Pune’s Mominpura is one such case in point. Starting 28 January, women of the area have been registering their protest against the CAA and NRC, demanding that Home Minister Amit Shah and PM Modi listen to their side.Sabera, Protester“Till the time PM Modi doesn’t take back this law, we will continue our protest with our children and families.”
As with its Delhi counterpart, protesters say Pune’s Shaheen Bagh will remain the centre of protest till the law is taken back.
Besides the CAA and the NRC, these women are also protesting against police brutality on anti-CAA protesters in Delhi and other cities.Anissa, Protester“We have seen the police be a mute spectator to the firing, they also lathi-charged protesters. Even the police is not protecting us.”
They feel this nature of violence questions the very basis of our law and justice system.Shakeel, Protester“If the four pillars of democracy ie the legislative, executive, judiciary and the media are compromised, then people have no way but to take to the streets.”
‘Hum Kaagaz Nahi Dikhayenge’
Several people also questioned the need to prove one’s citizenship. It is felt that this exercise is cumbersome and unnecessary.Munaf, Protester“They don’t have the right to ask for our documents. We didn’t ask for their papers before the election. You get elected because of us and then you ask us for documents? My dad is no more, my grandfather is also no more. Where will I get their documents from? This is nonsense, they have messed up the whole country.”
What about those not privileged enough?Minaaz, Protester“The poor will have to go through a lot of hardship to prove their citizenship. There is so much of corruption. So, the rich will get all the documents made, but what will the poor do if they don’t have documents? How will a Dalit or Adivasi show documents?”
Chants of ‘azaadi’ echo in Mominpura. Participants say they have taken to the streets to ‘preserve the soul of the country’. Till that happens, no matter how long it takes, these women remain undeterred.
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