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Indefinite 'satyagraha' against CAA, NRC continues in Bhopal, tribals without documents reach venue

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Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

BHOPAL: The biggest ongoing protest against Citizenship Act, NPR and NRC in Central India --the indefinite 'Satyagraha' continues at the historic Iqbal Maidan in Bhopal. 

It has drawn thousands of women apart from people belonging to all sections, especially, marginalized groups. 

On Monday, poor people and several tribal women who have few or no documents, arrived at venue. They spoke at length at the venue and told the people about their issues, especially, regarding the lack of papers.

Meanwhile, the women from nomadic tribes gathered at Iqbal Maidan and said that they would stage demonstrations across country. "We have neither a permanent rome, nor we are able to avail government schemes. We are inhabitants of the country, we are not going to give any proof of our citizenship", they said.

A play that focused on the plight of poor suffering due to arbitrary laws and lack of documents was also staged. Every day, citizens from different sections join the protesters. There is recital of 'protest poetry' on a regular basis. 

Interestingly, the Iqbal Maidan in Bhopal has a real 'Shahin' (falcon), which is a metaphor in Iqbal's poetry. It stands at the top of the stone pillar in the midst of this ground. It was built in memory of Iqbal, who wrote 'Sare Jahan Se Achcha', and also stayed in Bhopal several times.

The 'satyagraha' has been going on for the last three weeks and would continue until the controversial law is withdrawn, say the organisers. In Bhopal, there were nearly two dozen protests and huge gatherings in the last month. 

READ: Massive protests across India against controversial law, huge gatherings in different cities

In fact, the initial protests against NRC and CAA had taken place in Iqbal Maidan. And since then, it has been a witness to many huge gatherings. Lakhs have gathered in protests here since December 11, 2019. 

Subsequently, the 'Satyagraha' began on December 31-January 1 night. Since then, it has been going on round the clock. Apart from Shaheen Bagh in Delhi, which has drawn international attention, protests are going on in several cities in India viz. Allahabad, Lucknow, Gaya et al. 

Photo: Mujeeb Faruqui

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Journalist for more than 20 years. Had started his career with National Mail in the nineties. Worked as Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, as an Assistant Editor with DB Post, later Contributing Editor with The Huffington Post, writes for First Post, The Wire, Newsd & several other major publications.