Mob Banged Door, Tore Our Anti-CAA Poster During Shah’s Rally

“As soon as we’d put out the banner, the landlord asked us to leave.”

Updated08 Jan 2020, 05:42 PM IST
My Report
3 min read

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Video Producer:
Aastha Gulati

On Sunday, 5 January, Home Minister Amit Shah led a door-to-door campaign in New Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar for the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Despite several protests around the country against the CAA and proposed nationwide-NRC, Amit Shah has said that they will not go roll-back the law.

We decided almost instantaneously, on the day of the rally, to hang a poster from the balcony of our house. We took a white bed sheet lying at home and used spray paint to write ‘Shame’. The poster said ‘NRC-CAA’ that was crossed out, and #NotInMyName and Azaadi. It was a conscious decision on our part not to use any phrases or words or terms that might be derogatory or rhetorical because we didn’t want the attention to be diverted.

We weren’t mocking them but voicing our displeasure and dissent. It’s their duty as elected representatives to listen to us.

I felt that if I didn’t do this, I would regret it for the rest of my life and I wanted that facade of support for the CAA that the government wanted to show to be broken.

Around 5 pm, when the rally started, nobody noticed the poster. We had to resort to sloganeering, eventually. So I shouted “We reject CAA-NRC.” That’s when people started to take notice. Even though Mr Shah didn’t look up at all, he didn’t turn or flinch, a part of the rally just stopped there and suddenly there were like 150 people outside our house. Suddenly, people were coming up the stairs. There were people outside, banging on our door and asking us to open and said they would break down the door if we didn’t open it, but I didn’t.

I don’t know who all were outside because I couldn’t see beyond the door, but I know that my landlord and his son were there. We obviously felt that anything could happen at that point. They could break down the door. Eventually, the police was also outside. I made a few calls to my friends who are fellow lawyers. They managed to speak to the police. My father was also there.

I made a few calls to my friends who are fellow lawyers who then managed to speak to the police.

My father was there and in front of my father and friends, our character and upbringing were questioned. They weren’t allowed to enter our flat for well over an hour. Thankfully, the police helped to diffuse the situation. A female constable stayed back. They took our statements.

Of course, the banner was torn down. As soon as we’d put out the banner, in fact, the landlord asked us to leave. He said we were ill-mannered girls and asked us to vacate immediately.

We’d expected to be met with criticism for the poster, but was scary to see a frenzied mob attack us. Regardless of what happened, I will continue to protest against the CAA and the NRC. In fact, I attended a protest the next day as well. People who are on the fence about this need to take a stand because there is no going back from here. This is not the India I grew up in, this is not the India I know of from when I was in school and not what I had imagined India to look like in 2020.

(The author is a lawyer at the Delhi High Court. All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Published: 08 Jan 2020, 02:45 PM IST
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!