In Photos: Civil disobedience is everywhere!

With the far-right Indian government is showing no signs of backing down on divisive Citizenship Amendment Act, the voices of resistance have only grown louder and the list of such protest venues is going on increasing

January 21, 2020 by Ronak Chhabra, Mukund Jha
Shaheen Bagh India
Sunday evening at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi. Image Courtesy - Facebook

Baaghi Aag, Shaheen Bagh,” reads a canvas flaunting at a protest-site in a corner of southern part of Delhi, the capital city of India. The words roughly translate to “Flame of rebellion at Shaheen Bagh”, the same neighbourhood where a civil disobedience protest—spearheaded by women—has been ongoing for well over a month.

Here, women in thousands are sitting around the clock everyday, carrying a message of resistance to the recently amended Citizenship Act (CAA) and the subsequent exercise of National Register of Citizens (NRC). The Shaheen Bagh protest began on December 19, last year, after brutal police violence in New Delhi based Jamia Millia Islamia university. Hundreds of students were injured when police entered the university campus and attacked a protest march against CAA and NRC.

Critics argue that CAA and NRC are a ploy by far-right Indian government to religiously polarize the county and establish a Hindu majoritarian nation. The divisive citizenship law excludes Muslim refugees, while NRC is seen as an exercise to target Muslim community in India under the pretext of identifying “illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.”

Read more: Why is India’s Citizenship Bill dangerous?

The message is loud and clear. The flame of resistance is so strong that it has now spread to other communities in and beyond the national capital and across the country. As on Monday, January 20, at least 40 Shaheen Bagh-inspired sit-in protests have been reported in the country. Out of the total, 11 are in the national capital itself.

Here’s a complete list of all the sit-in protest venues, which are reverberating day and night with anti-CAA, anti-NRC slogans and slogans.

1. Khureji, New Delhi

Local residents, mainly led by women, had gathered for an indefinite sit-in on the night of January 13. In the wee hours of the next day, Delhi Police allegedly vandalised the protest site, in an attempt to disperse the protesters. Read the NewsClick report here.

2. Turkman Gate, New Delhi

Old Delhi residents, including women, took to the streets in hundreds on the evening of January 14 to register their protest against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act. At least seven protesters were detained by the Delhi Police early on the morning of January 16. Read the NewsClickreport here.

2 Turkman Gate

3. Jafrabad-Seelampur, New Delhi

The protest which started with a few hundred residents on the night of January 15, saw the crowds swelling upto 2,000 at Jafrabad-Seelampur on Friday evening. Read the NewsClick report here.

4. Kardam Puri, New Delhi

The protest at Kardam Puri started on the evening of January 18 with over thousands of residents who had gathered after being inspired by the protesting women of Shaheen Bagh. The protesters who have been demonstrating now for more than 48 hours are still waiting for the media to cover their protest.

5. Brijpuri (Old Mustafabad), New Delhi

Over 10,000 residents gathered on the evening of Sunday, January 18, at the north east district of New Delhi to protest against CAA and NRC. The indefinite sit-in had started earlier on Thursday evening.

6. Chand Bagh (Bhajanpura), New Delhi

The indefinite sit-in by women in the neighbourhood situated in New Delhi’s Bhajanpura started on Saturday evening. Langar, a community meal, was started here on Sunday evening by a Sikh group to stand with the protesters in solidarity.

7. Shree Ram Colony (Khajoori Khas), New Delhi

Started on Sunday evening by women who are inspired by Shaheen Bagh, the colony in New Delhi’s north east district is now adorned with Indian flags and reverberating with slogans and chants of “Aazadi” [Freedom].

8. Wazirabad, New Delhi

Preceded by marches and rallies, a Shaheen Bagh re-run took place in the national capital’s Wazirabad which saw huge participation of residents, especially women.

9. Jamia Millia Islamia

Weeks after violence was unleashed by the Delhi Police on the protesting students and residents of the surrounding locality, a Shaheen Bagh-like scenario now simmers in front of the Gate no 7 of the central university.

10. Inderlok Metro Station

Standing in solidarity with the month-long protest at Shaheen Bagh, hundreds of women on Sunday evening started an indefinite sit-in in front of the Inderlok metro station – a transfer station between red and green metro lines.

11. Park Circus Maidan, Kolkata

A group of women gathered at Kolkata’s Park Circus Maidan on January 7 and started camping out in the open with anti-CAA and anti-NRC posters. As the news spread, more men and women joined the group at the protest site. Read the NewsClick report here.

12. Shanti Bagh (Gaya), Bihar

The protest in Gaya’s Shanti Bagh, where hundreds of people, mainly women and students, have gathered, has been going on 24×7 since December 29, but the national media is yet to turn its attention to the protest. Read the NewsClick report here.

13. Sabzi Bagh, Patna, Bihar

Inspired by the Gandhian principle of peace and non-violence, against CAA-NRC, a sit-in protest has also started at Patna’s Sabzi Bagh. Read the NewsClick report here.

14. Phulwari Sharif, Patna, Bihar

Another sit-in protest, inspired by the resistance of Shaheen Bagh, began in the capital of Bihar.

15. Digha, Patna, Bihar

An indefinite sit-in protest started at another residential town in Patna on Friday evening. The protesters are being addressed by various students’ groups.

16. Badwali Chowk, Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Described as “Shaheen Bagh of Indore”, the sit-in protest at the Jama Masjid ground in the area started on the evening of January 15.

17. Manik Bagh, Indore, Madhya Pradesh

Local youths at Brook Bond Colony Public Park started a spontaneous protest against CAA around midnight on the evening of January 14, reported the Free Press Journal.

18. Iqbal Maidan, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh

A Shaheen Bagh-inspired protest erupted in Bhopal which saw huge participation by the local residents, especially women.

19. Clock Tower, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Around 5,000 women along with children sat near the Clock Tower in Lucknow’s old quarters on Saturday evening protesting the amended citizenship law and the planned National Register of Citizens (NRC). On the same night, Uttar Pradesh Police snatched their blankets, water bottles and biscuits. Read the NewsClick report here.

20. Mansoor Ali Park, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh

Over a thousand people, mainly women, sat till late into the night despite a cold wave sweeping across North India. They were also joined by student leaders and representatives from political parties. Read the NewsClick report here.

21. Mohammad Ali Park, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh

From dusk to down, thousands of people, mainly women, are participating in a sit-in protest in Kanpur’s Mohammad Ali Park in the freezing cold. Read the NewsClick report here.

22. Rakhiyal, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

The sit-in protest, on the premises of Ajit Mill at a state government housing scheme—Shaheri Garib Awas Yojana—with predominantly Muslim residents in the more than 700 housing units, began late night on Tuesday, reported The Indian Express.

23. Kondhwa, Pune, Maharashtra

For more than a week, a large group of women, under the banner of Kul Jamat-e-Tanzeem, an umbrella organisation of like-minded local bodies, have been on indefinite dharna in Kondhwa to register their protest, reported Hindustan Times.

Other places include, Kishorepura, Kota (Rajasthan); Albert Hall, Jaipur (Rajasthan); Tolichowki, Hyderabad (Telangana); Collector Office, Nanded (Maharashtra); Samvidhaan Chowk, Nagpur (Maharashtra); Aurangabad (Maharashtra); Idgah Maidan, Deoband (Uttar Pradesh); Islamiya College, Bareli (Uttar Pradesh); Kishanganj (Bihar); Motihari (Bihar); Gopalganj (Bihar); Siwan (Bihar); Malmal, Madhubani (Bihar); Central Library, Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), Khajrana, Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and Aazadi Square, Cochin (Kerala).

With the far-right Indian government is showing no signs of backing down on divisive Citizenship Amendment Act, the voices of resistance have only grown louder and the list of such protest venues is going on increasing.

(The article was first published on Newsclick