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On the first anniversary of CAA, anti-protest resumes in Kolkata, supports farmers movement

Thousands from across Bengal hit Kolkata streets in anti-CAA rally today, express solidarity with farmers and labourers, demand repealing of all anti-poor, anti-farmer and barbaric laws

Kolkata: Kolkata resumes anti-CAA protest on the first anniversary of the divisive and anti-Muslim citizenship law by the Narendra Modi government. Surviving the prolonged lockdown that barred public assembly after the Covid pandemic, the protesters’ morale has visibly recieved a boost in the wake of the ongoing farmers’ agitation at Delhi border against pro-corporate farm laws passed by the far right regime.

December 11’s afternoon, the first anniversary of passing of amendments of Indian citizenship act witness the high spirited anti- Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protest in the streets of Kolkata, as it was seen before the lockdown in West Bengal capital.

Thousands of protestors of every age group—from 6 to 60, across West Bengal—from Kolkata to Murshidabad and Nadia districts, farmers, students, activists among others hit the roads of the state capital to register their anger against the controversial citizenship law and support to ongoing farmers’ protest.

Around 20 organizations from across Bengal hit the streets– Ramlila Maida to New Market to protest against the amendments in India’s citizenship law and the announcements by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to implement it in Bengal from January.

anti-caa protest kolkata farmers west bengal bjp citizenship
Children, whose parents are from outside Kolkata, also led anti-CAA protest from Ramlila Maidan to New Market

The protest march was attended by Delhi based activist Banojyotsna Lahiri. When asked why anti-CAA protests have resumed again in Bengal and in other parts of country even after such a big humanitarian crisis by Covid-19 in entire world including India, why the Modi government is hell bent on implementing CAA, which had also created humanitarian crisis in India? “Because Narendra Modi led BJP govt is the most inhuman government India has ever had since independence, it does not believe in any kind of dialogue, it is extremely authoritarian.

She continued, “In fact, after coming to power in second term, this government has become totally fascist. In this weather, farmers are protesting for more than 15 days but the government is abuzz.”

“Anti-CAA is the core of Hindutva ideology. It is anti-constitution. They do not want the constitution to actually be functioning. So actually when Covid-19 crisis and lockdown was going on, they (anti-CAA protesters) were consistently harassed, interrogated and even arrested hundreds of people. Instead of learning anything from humanitarian crisis, they actually took advantages of the situation used further oppressed people,” she pointed out.

But by all these, is the government doing anything good to country and common people?

“Who are the common men of India, the peasants, farmers, but they are suffering, so this government is not for the common men of India but for Adani and Ambani,” Banojyotsna added.

While Dwaipayan Banerjee, another activist claimed that the rally has participants from 20 organizations and that it is not just against the CAA-NRC but farm and labour laws, and that the protest will continue until Modi government repeal the laws.

“All these laws are anti-poor, ancient and barbaric. While in this rally, everybody is involved, it is not only by the Hindu and Muslims. It is cutting religious barriers. The protest has started again and it will continue,” said Dwaipayan.

Swapna Bhattacharya, a 60-year old human rights activist told eNewsroom, “BJP brought laws to kill people but common man of India will not let this happen.” Many other social-political organisations have also announced rallies in support of the farmer’s movement in the coming days in the city. Mainstream anti-BJP parties including ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPM-Congress combine will also hit the streets opposing those laws as Bengal is gearing up for assembly polls.

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