Anti-CAA, anti-NRC protests: Never seen such protests for an issue, says 94-yr-old Indian freedom fighter » Kashmir Media Service

Mumbai, Dec 24 (KMS): Indian Freedom fighter G G Parikh, 94, said that while the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act is the largest public movement he has ever witnessed in Mumbai, caution must be exercised against the influence of RSS ideology.
“We know that Muslims and Dalits will join in large numbers against the CAA. But we also need to reach out to Hindus, especially those influenced by RSS ideology. This protest cannot win until all communities protest collectively,” Parikh said.
Incarcerated for several months during the freedom struggle, Parikh was a part of the J P Movement and arrested between 1975 and 1977 during the Emergency. Harping on the importance of changing the mindset of Hindus who were anti-Muslim, the nonagenarian said, “This is the time to reach out to Hindu friends and ensure every protest has an equal number of Dalits, Muslims and Hindus.”
Referring to the December 19 protest at August Kranti Maidan in Grant Road against the National Registry of Citizens (NRC) and CAA, he told media, “Through all these years, I have never seen such a huge turnout of common citizens for an issue.”
Along with Parikh, several activists have decided to escalate their protest against NRC, CAA and the National Population Register (NPR) over the next few days. “There is a strong demand that Maharashtra government should follow Kerala and West Bengal and announce that they will not implement NPR, NRC and CAA,” said Milind Ranade from Samvidhan Savardham Samiti. The organisation has launched a campaign in Chembur to gather signatures against the amended citizenship law. “We will send these signatures to the chief minister,” Ranade said.
Salim Alware, another activist, said a delegation of Muslim leaders met the Chief Minister Monday over the issue.
Meanwhile, at least 12 protests have been scheduled in Mumbai against the amended citizenship law, NRC and the NPR over the coming days. On Friday alone, multiple protests will be held at Sakinaka, Goregaon, Bandra and BKC area by several social organisations apart from a big rally from Byculla to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus square.
“We have been collating information on where and by whom different protests are being organised. There will be small protests in Jogeshwari, Wadala, Antop Hill, Vashi, Nerul, Chembur and Vikhroli in the next few days,” Varsha Vidya Vilas, a social activist, said.
On Monday, 45-50 activists met at Gandhi Book stall on Grant Road and decided to urge the CM to immediately stop preparation for any detention centre in the state to detain undocumented immigrants. One such centre was being planned at Nerul.
Protests are expected to scale up till January 22, when the Supreme Court is set to hear a clutch of petitions against CAA. On New Year’s eve, students are also planning to stage street plays and sing songs to raise awareness on the issue at Marine Drive.


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