New Delhi: Scores of Delhi University students came together Thursday to voice their dissent against the amended citizenship law outside the Arts faculty of the varsity.
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar and great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, Tushar Gandhi, also spoke at the public meeting.
A march, which was scheduled to take place after the meeting, had to be cancelled as organisers did not have permission from the university authorities or the police.
Patkar saluted the youngsters for carrying on the fight and said their resistance has scared the government.
“You are fighting for strong constitutional values. The National Population Register (NPR) has come to stand for National People’s Resistance and National Register of Citizens (NRC) has come to stand for National Resistance against Communalism.
“The government does not want a dialogue because it knows it will lose. It is scared and that is why it uses police,” she said.
Calling the attack on Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Aishe Ghosh January 5 inside the campus as an attack on Mahatma Gandhi and ‘ahimsa’, Patkar said police were just following the orders of their masters.
She concluded her address by singing AR Rahman’s ‘Ishwar Allah Tere Jahan Mein Nafrat Kyun Hai Jung Hai Kyun’.
Rains interrupted the public meeting for sometime but the participants took refuge under umbrellas as well as posters and stayed put. One of them said, “The government is not supporting us and neither is the weather”.
Tushar Gandhi said, “Police are our siblings and we have to be empathetic towards them. They are forced to follow the orders of their masters.”
He said the government is scared of the “youth awakening” and told the participants, ‘You have to keep scaring them’.
Anju Simon, a law student, said, “Change is happening and people are coming out to protest. It gives us positivity.”
Sehmat KP, another law student, said, “I am a law student and it scares me whether I will have this Constitution after I finish my studies. It is important to study in classrooms but it is important to protest also.”