Anthems of resistance spur forward anti CAA-NRC protests across nation

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Bol ke lab aazad hain tere
Bol zubaan ab tak teri hai
By Shirin Abbas, The India Observer,TIO:  In a corner of a Delhi road, amidst baton-wielding police surrounding them, a group of youngsters sit in a circle and sing Faiz’s revolutionary nazm. ‘Hum dekhengey.’
In her videos posted from Budapest where she is shooting, actor Shabana Azmi mouths her father’s famous lines “Aaj ki Raat bahut garm Hawa chalti hai, Aaj ki Raat na footpath pe neend aayegi. Sab utho main bhi uthoon tum bhi utho, koi khidki issi deewar mein khul jayegi.” She also recites Bol ke lab aazadhai terey and another inquilabi (revolutionary) couplet from her husband Javed Akhtar’s poetry to boost the morale of the protestors who have continued this resistance from university sit-ins and nation-wide protests against the Draconian Act.
Poetry and songs from revolutionary poets are infusing new fervor into the people’s movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act that has become a pan Indian movement now, leaving over 18 dead and thousands injured and jailed. To add insult to injury, the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered ‘seizing’ of the property of about 75 identified ‘arsonists’ despite protests that the movement had been infiltrated by trained rioters who covered their faces and have indulged in arson and destruction of public property.
It is these poems and songs that are spurring the unabated protests against the newly-passed Citizenship Amendment Act and the NRC and the soon to be implemented National Population Registry (NPR)
“Tu wo baat likh” Javed Akhtar’s singing poem extolling people to speak up for what is right is doing the rounds of Whatsapp.
Earlier after being roughed up by the police, JNU student Shashi Bhushan created a stir on a private TV channel by singing Habib Jalib’s Dastoor.. a video that has gone viral and virtually become a cry against the imposition of CAA and its linking with the NRC.
Video Link Anthems 3
This alone has created a storm of sorts with students at anti CAA BRC demonstrations reciting the same in the face of baton charging police.
Dec 19 saw unprecedented protests across the nation in strong Opposition to the introduction of the CAA. While the silent protests in some BJP ruled state’s turned violent, leading to arrests and arson, in contrast, the crowds at Mumbai’s August Kranti Maidan was perhaps the largest ever peaceful protest, participated in by several Bollywood actors like Kabir Khan, Mini Mathur, Sushant Singh, Javed Jaffri and others.
Another poem gaining popularity at these rallies is poet Husain Haidri’s ‘Hindustani Musalman’ that is being welcomed with huge rounds of applause and accolades by the young protestors.
Video Link Anthems 4
Clearly, this is not an agitation which shows signs of dying down and as protests against CAA across the world gain ground–in London, Istanbul, United States and other countries, it is these anthems of resistance that are keeping spirits buoyed in the face of government crackdowns and internet shutdowns that are ushering in a new decade for an India that refuses to remain quiet and let its pluralistic, multicultural, secular traditions be torn asunder.
Edited By Adam Rizvi


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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