CITIES

Lamakaan celebrates 2nd anniversary of Shaheen Bagh protests

Hyderabad: A group of activists in Hyderabad celebrated the second anniversary of the popular Shaheen Bagh protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The event was held in Lamakaan on Thursday, December 16.

The event convenor was activist and educator Sheela Sarah Mathews.

Speaking at the event at Lamakaan on Thursday, a sociopolitical activist from the city Khalida Praveen said, “Government have to repeal the CAA and get rid of the NRC. If something like the violence and persecution in 2019 recurs again, we will protest and start another Shaheen Bagh.”

The event witnessed the presence of some protestors who were present at Shaheen Bagh in 2019. They shared their experiences with the audience while some students from Hyderabad recited protest poems in English, Urdu, and Telugu. A 5-minute-documentary on Shaheen Bagh was also screened and the event concluded with Qawali performances.

Jasvin Jairath, another city-based activist speaking against CAA-NRC said, “If our paperwork (voter ID, passports and such) is not proof of citizenship, then their elected power is also not legitimate. What this translates to is that the government officials are illegal members of the Parliament.”

Why did Shaheen Bagh start in 2019?

The original protest in 2019 at Shaheen Bagh, Delhi was led by elderly women across the country. The Citizenship Amendment Act came into existence on December 12, 2019. The act accepted refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan from all religions except Muslims. This coupled with the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) threatened the citizenship and identity of Muslims within India. Also, the discriminatory nature of the act was condemned by people across the country. The protests however ended because of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

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