New Delhi: It was a protest with a difference at the Jamia Millia Islamia University, here on Saturday.
The stage was decorated with a big banner with the Preamble of the Constitution written on it. The Preamble was recited many times during the protest by different groups. The waving of the Tricolur by the assembled crowd and slogans, like Hindustan Zindabad, added to the protest.
Recital of the National Anthem was also the theme of the protest.
Protestors played musical instruments and sang, often loudly, ‘Hum honge kamyab’, Habib Jalib’s couplet ‘Hum nahi mante, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry ‘Hum bhi dekhenge’.
Most participants at the agitation, which is devoid of any leadership, had reached there on the basis of social media updates.
Amid the readings of Preamble, playing of music and singing of couplets was palpable the feeling of alienation among the participants from the minority community, which has been grabbing the centre stage in the last one year due to various events, like law on the practice of triple talaq and the Supreme Court verdict in the long-drawn Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi case.
The Constitution Amendment Bill (CAA) has simply added to that. It reflected during a protest at the Jama Masjid where copy of the Constitution was raised with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi and Baba Ambedkar.
Talking to IANS, Mohd Khurshid, a resident of the Jama Masjid area, said they were born here and we would die in the land of their forefathers only.
Participation of no-Muslims in protests has strengthened their faith (in the Constitution) and enthused them.
Left-leaning organisations, civil society groups and Dalit activist Chandra Shekhar have lent their support to the agitation.
Mehmood Pracha, a lawyer, said it was the time for Hindu Dalit/OBCs to unite and demand justice as the real issues had been overlooked by the government.
The Congress has been supporting the movement, but with caution. When several posts on social media questioned absence of Salman Khurshid, whose grandfather was the founder of the university, the Congress leader replied that he was present at the Delhi Police headquarters, in the court during a hearing related to the CAA, and participated in protests at the India Gate on Friday.