On Monday, an unconventional and lively scene unfolded in Lala Gunda in Washermenpet in Chennai, where a Shaheen Bagh-like sit-in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is ongoing. A couple – Shahin Shah and Sumayya chose the protest as the venue to take their wedding vows.
Holding a placard against CAA, NPR and NRC, the couple got married at the venue on Monday. The bride was clad in bright red saree with prominent zari work, while the bridegroom was dressed in maroon.
Sumayya and Shahin Shah were welcomed by the people there, and their marriage was solemnised by an Imam, who introduced the couple to the gathering. The community elders blessed them. After a brief ceremony during which the tricolour fluttered in the background, the couple was showered with gifts.
Shah, along with Sumayya, joined those raising slogans against the 'contentious' law. “I accept the bride but not CAA, NRC or NPR,” said Shah, who is a biscuit vendor. They couple were surrounded by fellow protesters as they raised slogans along with them. At one point, Sumayya also held the Preamble of the Indian Constitution, which has become an instrument anti-CAA and NRC protests across the country.
According to a TOI report, they chose the protest as the venue to get married because they were not sure if their wedding would take place as per schedule given that their family members were all at the protest. The newlyweds, who too have been actively taking part in the protest, then decided to get married at the venue, with elders agreeing to it.
Sumayya was also reportedly among the protesters who faced police action on Friday night at Washermanpet.
The protest has been on at Old Washermanpet in north Chennai from February 14, and has been dubbed as "Chennai's Shaheen Bagh" in the social media.
A congested neighbourhood, Muslims form a sizeable chunk of the population here. Two streets serve as a protest venue and volunteers have put up a lengthy pandal to provide shade.