Home CAA Women and children lead fight against CAA-NRC in Maharashtra

Women and children lead fight against CAA-NRC in Maharashtra

T I Inamdar, Twocircles.net

Protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) are intensifying across states, the latest being Maharashtra. Following the Shaheen Bagh model, several locations within the state are organizing sit-ins in Marathwada, Konkan, Vidarbha and other towns in Western Maharashtra.

The most notable factor in these protests is that participation of school going children is increasing day by day. These children are filled with zeal and enthusiasm to register their presence against CAA and NRC by occupying the areas daily for a significant number of hours despite their school and coaching classes. In Mumbra town of Thane, the local Shaheen Bagh or the ‘Mumbra Shaheen’ has entered its 23rd day wherein hundreds of women sitting for 24 hours have brought in their children to join the big fight to save the Constitution. “A library has been started at Mumbra Shaheen for these young students and various competitions are also being organized for them,” said Prof Hasan Mulani. He discussed how the involvement of children has encouraged the library set up and learning activities to educate and empower their bright minds.

In Solapur’s Shaheen Bagh, children have taken over the charge of the dais. These children protestors usually start by addressing talks on democratic values, role of Muslims in the Indian freedom struggle and more such socially and historically relevant facts and figures.

Samvidhan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti has organized the local Shaheen Bagh protest at Osmanabad city just near the Collector’s Office. Since this city of Marathwada region has a very low Muslim population, the organizers have allotted different dates to all the ‘mohallas’ to join in and keep the protest alive for long. The idea is working really well as a record response has been received from the protestors.

“About one thousand people are giving their 24 hours to save our constitution,” said Mohsin Shaikh, a social activist adding that around 3000 activists visit the Shaheen Bagh of Buldana city daily at Jaystambh to voice their dissent. Inspired by such vigour, several other locations in Mumbai city namely – Nagpada. Andheri, Govandi and Jogeshwari are also witnessing similar sit-in protests. Kalyan, Bhiwandi and other towns in Thane are following suit.

“Samvidhan Bachao Kruiti Samiti is conducting protest marches in a total of 11 places one by one,” said A.Karim Salar, a Jalgao based educationist. He informed that thousands of women in Maharashtra, not just Muslims but Hindus also are now joining these protests in  a large numbers and extending their support to Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh women. To honor the unwavering courage of these women, informed Salar, the series of protests scheduled for the upcoming week has been named – “Ek Sham Shaheen Bagh ke Naam”.

The wave of agitation can be seen in Pune too where hundreds of female activists are staging protests against CAA NRC since the last 32 days at Kondwa area. “Noted politicians of the state Rajendra Awad, Abu Asim Azmi and others have already visited the site to motivate protestors,” said Azhar Ali, one among the protestors.

“It is a very good thing that Muslims are coming on roads for their democratic rights with devotion and energy,” said Akif Dafedar. Akif is a resident of Mumbai and a progressive activist who is visiting and addressing the Shaheen Baghs in the state. While speaking to Twocircles.net, he stressed that Muslims must know that Maratha, SC, ST and OBC brothers and sisters are with them in this fight against CAA and NRC.