'There Seems to be Discrimination': As Thousands Hit Mumbai Streets Against CAA, Farhan Akhtar Speaks Out
Some who participated in the rally said they felt compelled to show up after disturbing accounts of perturbed students from Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia surfaced online, following the police crackdown.
Farhan Akhtar at the protest. (Twitter/@ANI)
Mumbai: Thousands of protesters, including actors Farhan Akhtar, Huma Qureshi and Swara Bhasker, marched through the streets of Mumbai on Thursday to oppose the amended citizenship law.
Chanting 'Hum kya maange... Azaadi!' slogans, the number of demonstrators grew from hundreds to the thousands as they spilled into the Nana Chowk traffic intersection from August Kranti Maidan, where Mahatma Gandhi in 1942 told the British to quit India.
Large tricolors and red flags dotted the scene. Many marchers held home-drawn signs, carrying phrases like “Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Isayi hum sab hain bhai bhai" and “Revoke CAA, No to NRC."
Also joining them were actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, filmmakers Rahul Dholakia and Anubhav Sinha, who has been very vocal since the issue has become a hot-button topic in the past two weeks.
Some who participated in the rally said they felt compelled to show up after disturbing accounts of perturbed students from UP's Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia surfaced online, following the alleged brutal police crackdown in the two varsities.
"To raise your voice against something is absolute democratic right, people are raising their voices and I subscribe to the view that there seems to be a certain amount of discrimination in what has been planned and what is happening. And, as a citizen of this country and somebody who's been born and has grown up with a certain idea of what India is, it is important for me to raise my voice," said Farhan Akhtar, who attended the protest with his girlfriend Shibani Dandekar.
Speaking at Agenda AajTak, Home Minister Amit Shah recently said that neither the NRC exercise nor the CAA would hurt Indian Muslims. When informed about the same, Farhan said, "But if you look at the detail of the act, it does feel like that it can cause trouble. Also if everything was okay, why would so many people turn up, not just in Mumbai, but Delhi, Assam, Bangalore, Hyderabad?"
Actors Pooja Bhatt and Gauahar Khan, who couldn't make it to the march, took to social media to express their solidarity with the protesters.
"I will be unable to attend the peaceful protest in Mumbai today since I am filming but stand in solidarity with everyone that is. If I was the producer, I would have postponed my shoot. In this case I am not hence cant change the schedule. #CAAProtests #MumbaiAgainstCAA," Pooja tweeted.
I will be unable to attend the peaceful protest in Mumbai today since I am filming but stand in solidarity with everyone that is. If I was the producer,I would have postponed my shoot. In this case I am not hence cant change the schedule. 🙏 #CAAProtests #MumbaiAgainstCAA— Pooja Bhatt (@PoojaB1972) December 19, 2019
Not in mumbai ! But my spirit with u ! In solidarity n support ! #PeacefulProtests #CitizenshipAmmendmentAct #BaN ! India for all ! No to #Bhedbhav NO to #Division ! HinduMuslimSikhIsaai #BhaiBhai pic.twitter.com/EjovHvKI9H— Gauahar Khan (@GAUAHAR_KHAN) December 19, 2019
On the other hand, Huma Qureshi, Swara Bhasker and Reema Kagti among others, posted images and videos from the march on their Twitter pages.
Met this little protestor at August Kranti Maidan. The voice of people is loud and clear 🇮🇳#NoViolenceButNoSilence Thank you @MumbaiPolice for doing a great job at helping in organise a peaceful protest. Jai Maharashtra! Jai Hind ! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/rkVu50BI3x— Huma S Qureshi (@humasqureshi) December 19, 2019
Overwhelmed with the turnout at August Kranti Maidan in Mumbai. It was powerful, and peaceful. I felt the heartbeat of a nation where the democratic pulse is alive and healthy. Let us continue the resistance against divisive politics. Let no power divide India. We are one. 💕— Alankrita Shrivastava (@alankrita601) December 19, 2019
Whatta overwhelming outpouring of solidarity, unity & allegiance to the #ConstitutionOfIndia in #Mumbai at #MumbaikarsAgainstCAB peaceful protest today. Kudos & big shout out to @MumbaiPolice for demonstrating how peaceful protest can be enabled in a orderly & democratic manner. pic.twitter.com/jaF0vzqKdP— Swara Bhasker (@ReallySwara) December 19, 2019
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