Ladeeda, Ayesha, Jamia students hog limelight at massive anti-CAA rally in Hyderabad

Owaisi says stage set for a long-drawn fight for the move to save Constitution
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By Dr. Shirin Abbas, Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, TIO: India, Dec 21: Hyderabad led the way where it came to protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and (CAA) the, #National Register of Citizens (NRC).  with a huge crowd gathering at Hyderabad’s Darussalam, the headquarters of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM). The public meeting was organised by the United Muslim Action Committed and saw people from all religions and all walks of life participate. Protestors had come in not only from Hyderabad and surrounding areas but also from other states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Jharkhand, besides other parts of Telangana.

Waving the Indian tricolor and upholding photos of Dr. BR Ambedkar and copies of the Preamble, the protestors swarmed the grounds in solidarity with the rest of the nation protesting the move. The main speaker at the event, Hyderabad Member of Parliament, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that the stage had been set for a long-drawn fight against NRC and CAA was a fight to save the country and its Indian Constitution.

“Don’t resort to violence under any circumstances. This is what the enemy wants. Don’t fall into their trap,” he told the gathering, in an appeal for peace. He also appealed to the crowd to hoist the Indian flag at every home.
“I want to appeal to the people of the country who are against the CAA and NRC to hoist an Indian flag at their house, to show that Gandhian values are still alive in us. The flag will send a message that Ambedkar’s values are alive and that they are against fascists,” Owaisi said, addressing the cheering multitudes. roaring
It was a time for the Hyderbad MP to also vent his ire against Prime Minister Narendra Modi whom he accused of dividing the country on religious grounds and said, “We rejected Partition and rejected the invitation of Jinnah. Amit Shah is weak in history. This Darussalam is where Jinnah had come 70 years ago and given a speech.  We chose to stay here. This is our loyalty and love for the country. This very ground of Darussalam today hoists the Indian flag.”
Categorically stating that this was not a fight for Muslims alone but to preserve the secular identity and framework of the Indian Constitution. “It is not a fight of Muslims alone. There are Dalit, Scheduled Tribes and others in the fight. A major part of the country is with us.” Owaisi also added that while he was not opposed to the idea of giving citizenship to people of Bangladesh or Pakistan or Afghanistan, but not on the basis of religion alone.”
Owaisi said he perceived this to be a long-drawn battle of at least 6-7 months and urged that the momentum of this struggle had to be maintained so that the message went out loud and clear that the people have rejected the Act which has been passed by the Two Houses of Parliament on the basis of BJP’s large presence. “This struggle has to be persistent and peaceful. Violence is not the answer,” he urged.
Earlier, a video message from Owaisi had urged people to bring the national flag to the meeting so that the attempts to give this protest a religious colour were thwarted. Angry crowds raised slogans against Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, to which Owaisi retorted,  “Let them see the crowd that has gathered here today. Let them see the national flag flying high in the ground and let’s see if they can call us anti-national now.”
As evening fell, more and more people gathered at the venue,. Many also offered their evening prayers before the event began.
The crowd grew to such large numbers that finally entry to the venue was blocked by the organisers as the swelling crowd began scaling walls and breaking down barricades. It was already choc a bloc with protestors. the crowd cheered  ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ after each speaker’s turn.
By the end of the function, the stage was surrounded by the protestors
Among the several Muslim leaders who spoke at the event, representing different sects of Islam. were Human rights lawyers Aman Wadud, who has worked extensively against the NRC in Assam, besides Osmania University Dalit student leader Sharath Chamar.
Progressive Organisation for Women (POW)’s activist Sandhya and Chief Coordinator of AIMPLB Women’s Wing Dr. Asma Zehra also addressed the gathering.
As certain religious slogans were raised, Owaisi took to the stage and put a stop to the same, saying, “I don’t want any religious slogans today. I only want to hear ‘Hindustan Zindabad’,” to which the crowd erupted in cheers.
Jamia students call for a bigger movement
The meeting was also addressed by Ladeeda Farzana and Aysha Renna, the two female students of Jamia Millia Islamia, who became the face of the anti-CAA protests, calling for building a bigger movement to free the country from ‘fascist forces’. The two Jamia students got a rousing reception. The two have become social media faces of the protest as videos showing them saving a male friend from lathi-wielding policemen at Jamia went viral.  Their participation drew loud cheers from thousands of people.
Ladeeda Farzana and Aysha Renna, called for building a bigger movement to free the country from ‘fascist forces’, as thousands who had gathered cheered them on, waving massive national flags and holding up photos of Dr. B R Ambedkar and copies of the Preamble to the Constitution of India.
Aysha took centre stage first, and, speaking in English, said that the protests against CAA and the National Registrar of Citizens (NRC) was not just a fight for Muslims, but for all the people in the country. “We are not real icons. It’s just that our videos went viral,” she said, referring to videos which showed the duo saving a male friend from lathi-wielding policemen at Jamia, which had gone viral. After a short speech highlighting the problems with NRC and CAA, Aysha also lashed out at the BJP and the ‘Sangh Parivar’.
She accused the BJP of resorting to a hate campaign and targeting Muslim women, just because they were raising their voice for justice. “I also demand that all those who have been detained during the protests, be released immediately. The Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states must come together,” she added.
Ladeeda Farzana, who spoke after Aysha, also elicited a massive response. Stressing on the need for a larger alliance, she said like-minded people must join hands with  Dalits and other marginalised sections of society.
“We salute all the martyrs who laid down their lives fighting against this draconian law. We also salute all those who are on streets raising their voice,” said Ladeeda, to cheers from the crowd.
Both students also demanded the release of Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad, who was arrested by the Delhi Police in connection with violence during an anti-CAA protest in the capital. Recalling her meeting with Azad on Friday, Ladeeda described him as an inspiration for everyone. The duo also said that more women should come out on to the streets, to protest against the CAA and the NRC.
Aysha, speaking at Saturday’s meeting, said: “This was not just the fight for Muslims, but a fight for all the people.” She flayed the BJP and the ‘Sangh Parivar’ for resorting to a hate campaign and targeting Muslim women who were raising their voice for justice.
The meeting concluded with a reading of the Preamble of the Constitution of India along with all those who had gathered, by Asaduddin Owaisi. Protestors were urged to disseminate peacefully by Owaisi and asked to remain steadfast in their protest.
The meeting was held at Darussalam, the headquarters of the AIMIM, where the students shared the stage with Hyderabad MP Asadauddin Owaisi.
The two female students of Jamia Millia Islamia, whose video standing up to the police during an anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest went viral last week, were given a rousing reception in Hyderabad on Saturday evening, as a mammoth meeting took place in the city.

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Shirin Abbas

Dr. Shirin Abbas is the Bureau Chief "TheIndiaObserver.Com". She is a world-renowned journalist, winner of several national and international awards for her contribution to Media Research.The first recipient of the prestigious British Chevening Scholarship for Print Journalism in 1999 from her state of Uttar Pradesh. Under the same, she studied at the School of Media, Communication, and Design at the University Of Westminster, London and interned with The Irish Times, Dublin. She has been a journalist for over three decades, working at several national English dailies in North India. She completed her PhD. in Mass Communication in 2016.

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