Ghazala Ahmad | Clarion India
NEW DELHI – Paying tearful tributes to the martyrs of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) movement, students of Jawharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Tuesday recollected the days of the inhuman assault on protesters across the country.
The event, organized by Muslim Students Federation’s JNU chapter (MSF-JNU), asserted that the resilience and continuity of the anti-NRC-CAA movement has captured the public and political imagination of the Indian republic.
The gathering at the JNU campus reflected how memory relents and resists the state repression and subsidence of the movement.
“From the Constituent Assembly to our ongoing petition against CAA in the Supreme Court, we are in a relentless struggle for citizenship rights. And students have always inspired us to fight,” ET Muhammed Basheer, Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) member of parliament, said addressing the gathering.
“It’s important for us to survive the repressive state, its fabricated charges and propaganda. And our refusal against forgetting constitutes a solemn step in that pursuit,” Prof. Apoorvanand of Delhi University asserted.
“We are here for our comrades who are now behind the bars, like Sharjeel, Umar, Gulfisha, Khalid Saifi and many others. We are here for all those who were martyred in the North East Delhi pogrom,”Aasif Mujataba, a leading student activist, recollected the stories of Shaheen Bagh and other demonstrations that happened back in 2019.
The event began with the opening of “Wall of Martyrs”, an exhibition depicting stories of martyrs who lost their lives in police killings, North East Delhi pogrom and numerous other NRC-induced deaths in Assam.
One of the organizers of the event reiterated: “It’s important for us to imagine the struggle with its grown structures of an insuppressible movement that withstands the fatigue or failing saturation. That’s why we remember the colossal loss of human lives in the violent RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) reaction to the protest. Uttar Pradesh itself had more than 25 deaths, including our Sahib Aftab Alam in Kanpur”.
The exhibition also featured a series, “Unsecular stories of India’s Citizenship Regimes” collating the interventions by Muslim legislators in the matters of citizenship laws. The lawmakers include Mahboob Ali Baig, B. Pocker, G.M. Banatwla, Ebrahim Sulaiman Sait, Abdul Wahab MP, and E.T. Muhammed Basheer.
The series uncovered how India’s citizenship rights were defaced with religious bias since the Constituent Assembly debates through the turbulent crisis of 1970s to 2020s.