New Delhi: India witnessed dramatic scenes Thursday as citizens came out in huge numbers in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act, which, along with the National Register of Citizens, will give non-Muslim immigrants a faster track to citizenship. Protesters also came out in solidarity with the students of Jamia Milia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, who witnessed extreme police action during their protests a few days ago.
While protests in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagalanad, Manipur and Tripura have been raging for a while, Thursday saw lakhs of protesters across Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Bhubaneswar raise their voice.
And they did so with some on-point slogans and placards, along with classic protest songs.
From Netflix shows to movies to Instagram memes, people mined pop culture to send their message, loud and clear.
Also read: Car set on fire, water cannons used as anti-CAA protests turn violent in old Delhi
In Mumbai, where an estimated 25,000 people flocked to Tardeo’s August Kranti Maidan and the roads near it, one protester riffed on Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering one’s life with a sign that read “THIS GOVERNMENT DOES NOT SPARK JOY”, while another, clearly a fan of Disney’s The Lion King, held up a placard that immediately brings to mind that movie’s iconic scene, but with a German twist.
Protesters also made use of word play in sending out their message of anger at this government.
And because high-school comedies are always great meme material, one woman decided to parody a famous line from Lindsay Lohan flick Mean Girls.
In Delhi, planned peaceful protests at Mandi House and Shaheedi Park were thwarted with interminable border checks of commuters coming from Gurgaon and Noida, the imposition of Section 144 in certain parts of Central Delhi, internet restrictions, and protesters being detained and taken away by the busloads. Despite this, thousands of people descended on Jantar Mantar by 1 pm and continued to arrive in droves right up until about 8 pm.
Bundled in puffy jackets and mufflers and warmed by the hot tea being offered by vendors, they carried posters with the text of the Preamble of the Constitution, photos of Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar, as well as posters with some rather earthy messages.
They chanted slogans of Samvidhaan Bachao, Inqilab Zindabad and Tanashahi Nahi Chalegi, and sang classic protest anthems Hum Honge Kamyab and Saare Jahan Se Achha. They gave roses to police personnel and even got a senior police officer to sing the National Anthem.
Also read: Why states need to stop calling Indian Army to deal with protesters. It’s not riot police
It is so overwhelming to see our Hindu Brothers and Sisters stand shoulder to shoulder with their Muslim citizenry. This is the real India…
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