Women with their babies (including Irom Sharmila), students, volunteers, economists, lawyers, historians, representatives of LGBTQ, Transwomen, Dalit, and many men with bindis were seen in the protest.
‘Hum Dekhenge’ was a charismatic and popular poem, but it attained iconic status and became a universal anthem of protest and endurance after Iqbal Bano rendered it in 1986.
“We are from Banaras but my mother has been living in Delhi since 1984. She has all documents like ration card, pension, voter ID card but she doesn’t have a birth certificate, is she a refugee then?” says Vandana.
“I am very worried. I wanted to come so people know that people my age are also joining the movement. Our country can only run on a secular fabric and not when one community fights with the other.”
The demonstration at Jantar Mantar also saw speeches from human rights lawyer, Vrinda Grower, acclaimed feminist activist Kamla Bhasin, student leader Kawalpreet Kaur, a theatrical performance by Maya Krishna Rao etc. as the eclectic crowd cheered them on.
“The trans and queer narrative is very important in conversation around CAA-NRC-NPR because a large number of trans folks run away from their houses and take refuge in different parts of the country,” says Vihaan, a trans man who works with Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group.
Not being political, while being a privilege, also hints at a dilemma that a lot of people face today- the fear of intense backlash, especially on social media.
Men in Tamil Nadu sought art as a medium to express dissent against NRC and CAA and challenge the age-old tradition of women making kolams at the same time.
The 24-year-old gold medalist went up on the stage but before receiving her medal and certificates, she faced the crowd, took out a copy of the controversial CAA and NRC, and tore it apart.
Ladeeda Sakhaloon is originally from the coastal city of Kannur in Kerala. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors degree in Arabic, first year, at Jamia Milia Islamia.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Sikh. Your religion doesn’t make you any more or less of an Indian. This bill spreads hate and does not care about its own people.” – Feroza Aziz
“What have we done? Why are you arresting me? Why didn’t you arrest the people who were pelting stones? How can you arrest me?” Sadaf asked the woman cop when she was picked up.