By Ananya Tiwari & Armond Feffer
Calling the CAA-NRC “unconstitutional” and “communal”, hundreds of students from the Young India Foundation marched from Mandi House Metro station to Jantar Mantar Monday. Many citizens also joined the march.
The students were from universities such as JNU, Jamia, DU, and others. Tanishq Sharma, a student of Chandigarh University and hailing from UP said, “I can put my studies on hold for issues like these. We are all equal. We should all have access to the same opportunities this country offers, regardless of religion.”
Activist Umar Khalid was also present and addressed the gathering at Jantar Mantar. “The government wants citizens to be transparent but citizens have no right to know who they get funding from, they’ve even changed the RTI law, and are spying on us through Pegasus software…,” he said.
“Young India has come forward to say that we don’t want CAA-NRC, we want education and employment,” he added.
Among citizens who turned up for the student-led protest was Sudhir Chopra (67), a former government official.
He told The Indian Express, “CAA-NRC has unnecessarily created a lot of turmoil in the country, it will not serve any purpose… they want to divert attention from real issues such as the state of the economy, jobs, unemployment. The present government has no real solutions…”
Gauhar Raza, a retired scientist, said, “They are trying to divide India and follow the divide and rule policy of the British.” Emphasising on the importance of protesting, he said, “People like me need not come out because we are supposed to do science, students are supposed to study. But when the Constitution and the idea of India is challenged, then it becomes the duty of every citizen to come out and protest against it.”
Rohit Kumar (50), a freelance teacher, said: “This generation is willing to fight for the values of the Constitution, equality… and in their minds, all religions are equal.”
(Armond Feffer is an intern with The Indian Express)
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