Hundreds of women, comprising senior citizens, housewives, teachers and students, performed naam prasanga (community prayer) at a sit-in organised by the All Assam Student’s Union in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act at Tangla town in Udalguri district of Assam on Saturday.
The women wore gamosas, which has become a symbol of protest in the anti-CAA movement in Assam, around their necks. They also raised slogans like CAA nalage (We don’t want CAA), Ei mati amar mati (This land is our land), Khed oi khed bidekhi khed (Chase away the infiltrators), Bidekhi supporter husiar (Supporters of illegal migrants beware), Jai Aai Axom (Glory to mother Assam). A 17-year-old school student, Nazrul Islam, also recited a self-composed protest poem.
A protester, Madhusmita Mazumdar, said, “The Citizenship (Amendment) Act is a threat to the indigenous identity of the Assamese and a ploy to divide people. If this act is implemented, we will become minority in our own land.”
Sabnam Rahman, another protester, said, “Through the amendment in the citizenship act, the government has attacked the soul of the people of Assam and we will never accept this. That’s why people from all walks of life, old and young, have gathered here. People don’t want this law.”
Nivedita Deka, a sexagenarian, said, “The protest against the Act is not restricted to Assam now. The nation is awake and is against the law.”
She said the people of Assam have great hopes that the Supreme Court will give justice to the people of Assam by exempting the state from the purview of the Act.
AASU’s Tangla president Pranjal Deka said, “The BJP and its ally, the AGP, and BPF leaders will never be forgiven by the people of Assam whom they have betrayed by supporting the Act. It is detrimental to the cause of Assam and Assamese and violates the basic principles of the Constitution and the Assam Accord. The Act may get legal sanction by Parliament but it will never get any recognition by the people of Assam.”
AASU assistant general secretary Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharya said, “The BJP leaders of Assam are not the guardians of Assamese people. They are forcefully imposing an Act which is detrimental to the indigenous people. We want the government not to play divisive politics and implement the Assam Accord, which is the heart and soul of the people of Assam.”
Vaishnavites from 22 naam-ghars on Saturday took out a protest march at Assam’s oil town, Duliajan, in Dibrugarh district of Upper Assam, demanding scrapping of the amended citizenship act.
Men, women and children carried banners, placards, festoons, mridongs (a percussion instrument) and bhortal (cymbals) and gathered near central naamghar in the morning.
More than 3,000 bhakat Vaishnavites from Duliajan central naamghar took out a rally from 16 Tiniali to the Bihutoli premises, raising slogans against the Union and state governments.
A spiritual leader of Tipling naamghar, Pranpratim Dutta, said, “Let our culture and language live. Do not try to destroy it through CAA in the state.” He appealed to the government to protect jati (community) mati (land) and bheti (mainstay).
Additional reporting by Pradip Kumar Neog in Duliajan