For the last few months, the nation is witnessing protests against CAA with several agitators flooding the streets to oppose this act. This protests hardly gave birth to any new leader to the political landscape of India, but it gave birth to Shaheen Bagh in Delhi which now has become a favourite spot for CAA naysayers.
(Picture Source: Author)
It has been more than a month in Shaheen Bagh where the anti-CAA protestors have occupied the streets and have blocked transportation services. The commuters are facing problems from these protests as they are facing difficulties to move freely from one place to another.
In a bid to protest against CAA, protestors in Shaheen Bagh are unable to see the problems which the common public are facing because of them. It is pertinent to note that the issue of CAA is already in Supreme court, where the validation of this act is to be seen legally and in a systematic way. But yet, the protests of Shaheen Bagh reflects that protestors are so impatient that they can’t even wait for the Supreme court evaluation as if India is facing something serious which requires immediate intervention.
The Shaheen Bagh protestors claim that they are doing all these as per the constitution which provides everyone with liberty and right to show dissent. But their argument doesn’t fit well with their act. The recent incident of manhandling few journalists and stopping them from reporting in Shaheen Bagh indicates that in Shaheen Bagh, protestors want journalism and reporting with the accordance of their terms and conditions. They want journalists and media houses only to show what they want the world to know. They don’t want media to question them on their fundings or about Sharjeel Imam who talked about cutting off northeast from rest of India.
It appears that protestors of Shaheen Bagh are fighting to save a democracy where they want journalists not to correct them on their facts because it makes them believe that journalism is under government influence. They are not ready to listen to any facts from parliament, government, or media houses, which is not suitable for a healthy democracy. Even journalists who are reporting from Shaheen Bagh don’t take the risk of correcting the protestors with facts as it may put their safety in trouble. Any dissent is not allowed to come out in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh which leaves very little space for having a factual debate or argument, which is the only way to get correct insights on CAA.
The entire anti-CAA buzz in Shaheen Bagh talks of Indian Muslims losing their citizenship without presenting any substantial argument or facts, nor they allow anyone to counter their doubts with proper facts. If they are not ready to listen to parliament, government, courts, media houses, then whom they will listen to? These aspects also give power push to the doubts that these protests are the part of an evil agenda which want to stoke disturbances in India. The most disturbing part of this entire event is that several people from the intellectual club visit Shaheen Bagh but instead of correcting the protesters with proper facts, they are supporting their arguments which is enough to question their intellectual brand.
The entire protest of Shaheen Bagh is revolving around a pledge to save free speech, constitution and democracy but it now appears that this democracy of Shaheen Bagh comes with strict terms and conditions where dissent voices are not allowed to flourish. If misrepresented Shaheen Bagh protests against CAA continues with protesters keeping their eyes and ears off on the facts presented by parliament, government, and media then they will become a severe threat to the democratic setup of India. This protest site has now become a threat to the law and order situation also as apparent by the recent firing incident at Shaheen Bagh.
If the protestors of Shaheen Bagh believe in the idea of Mahatma Gandhi, as they claimed, then they must stop their protest now and free the roads of Shaheen Bagh. If there is any democracy left in Shaheen Bagh, then I would appeal the protestors to stop their protest which has now turned into a radical protest posing a threat to the peace, integrity and law situation of India.
(About the Author: Suranjan Dutta is a Socio-Political activist and has a vast experience of working in the rural areas of Assam. Dutta has also established himself as a successful young entrepreneur actively engaging the youths.)