Solidarity Feeding by Karwan e Mohabbat for India’s Dispossessed
In a corner of south Delhi, sitting on a main road for the fourth week in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), the women of Shaheen Bagh remind me of Ammi, my mother-in-law. Ammi, who was from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh, used to remind me of Mataji, my grandmother, who originally belonged to Lahore. One of them was a Muslim woman, the other a Hindu Punjabi.
In the second half of December, when the spontaneous protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act began, it was hard to imagine how quickly we would find ourselves in an India that seemed to be changing every moment. The first news of protests began to pour in from university campuses and soon there were announcements of protests and rallies in multiple locations in various cities.
The surge of protests in every corner of the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens will be remembered as an iridescent, significant moment in the journey of the republic. This is because these are, at their core, popular moral assertions founded on fraternity of the kind we have not seen for a long time.
The trouble with writing this column is that every time I click on the video of Anugya, the Jamia Millia Islamia student who distilled the meaning of education, belonging and the ideas enshrined in the Constitution in an emotionally charged 4-minute interview to television reporters, I can’t stop my own tears.