The protest, organised by various women's groups, brought people together to raise their voices against what they believe is an unconstitutional move.

Hundreds of women turn up at Bengalurus Town Hall to protest draconian NRC CAA
news CAA Thursday, December 26, 2019 - 18:28

Trucks dropped off women by the hundreds to attend a protest at Bengaluru's Town Hall, against the imposition of NRC and CAA. The protest was organised by various women's groups, who brought people together to raise their voices against what they called "unconstitutional" and "draconian" move to exclude certain people from Indian citizenship. 

Protesters held posters and shouted slogans against the "unconstitutional" move. The protesters arrived held aloft several banners and posters, some of which read, “Withdraw CAA permanently,” “No CAA, NRC, NPR,” “NRC and CAA is demonetisation of Indian citizenship.” 

One of the banners at the protest

The steps of the Town Hall swelled with protesters, and soon the stairs couldn't accommodate the number of women who were at the protests. Students, professionals, women in sarees, bindis, and burkas, then sat on the tar road below the steps, even as volunteers kept on requesting people to sit down. There were also women with babies who attended the protest. One protester even breastfed her child behind the posters as the protest went on. 

Nasreen, who was detained by the police on December 19 just for walking by in her burkha, attended the protest on Thursday. She spoke about how the people were angry, and that they would fight to defend the constitution. "The previous governments used Census data to determine who was allowed to be in this country. Why isn't this government using the Census? If you want to bring the (NRC) process, you will have to remove Article 14 in the Constitution (which guarantees equality before law). We won't let you do that.” 

Shruti Ravi, a content writer, says that women have been at the forefront of the protests from the beginning. "I'm not surprised to see women come out in large numbers to lead the way. We are aware of how Muslim men are targeted by the state. Even in the recent (student) protest, there were a lot of women surrounding the men who were attending the protest, so that they don't get detained." 

The protesters took digs at MP Tejasvi Surya for referring to protesters as 'puncture-wallahs'. Syeda Begum, president of the Women India Movement, one of the organisers of the women's protest, says that the MP should be ashamed for talking like that. "They say we are puncture-shop owners. When you puncture the constitution, we will repair it!" 

Syeda then went on to emphasise that asking for documents was shameful. "This is a government that doesn't work. Give us jobs, give us safety, give us a growing economy, give us freedom. Instead of this, all you are doing is trying to divide us! We will not be divided," she asserted. 

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