In Pics: Chennai’s Own Shaheen Bagh Against CAA – ‘Shaheenpet’
The Quint gives you a glimpse into some of the wonderful humans we met at Chennai’s very own Shaheen Bagh.
The Quint gives you a glimpse into some of the wonderful humans we met at Chennai’s very own Shaheen Bagh.(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

In Pics: Chennai’s Own Shaheen Bagh Against CAA – ‘Shaheenpet’

"We are proud to see how the women of Delhi are standing their ground and putting up a tough front. They are pulling a Jallikattu protests Round 2. So we are also joining in now.”

That is what protesters at Chennai’s Old Washermanpet have to say about their own version of Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh – now aka, Shaheenpet, thanks to social media.

If you get off at Pencil Factory bus stop in Korukkupet these days, you will come across hundreds of men, women and children. The chants of azaadi and inquilab zindabaad echo as artists, social activists, local leaders, common folk – everyone – take turns to explain why they believe the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) is discriminatory to some religious groups.

The Quint walked into these lanes to bring you a glimpse of Chennai’s very own Shaheen Bagh, or as its now being called – Shaheenpet.

Also Read : A Day After Lathi-Charge, a Shaheen Bagh-Like Protest in Chennai

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(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

Sitting on the side of the massive gathering at Washermanpet, this old woman told The Quint, “We women have left our jobs at home and outside to be here as our country needs women to save it".

Also Read : Youth Held in Chennai for Shouting Anti-Modi Slogans at BJP Rally

This group of men said, “It is not just the women. We are all in this fight together.”
This group of men said, “It is not just the women. We are all in this fight together.”
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

This gathering came together after a scuffle broke out between the protesters and police at the Old Washermanpet area on 14 February, when police lathi-charged and detained anti-CAA protesters. Following that, multiple protests have taken place across the state in the last two days, condemning police high-handedness on anti-CAA protesters.

Even kids can be seen attentively listening to the speeches and performances on stage.&nbsp;
Even kids can be seen attentively listening to the speeches and performances on stage. 
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“On 14 November, our kids were participating in a few competitions in school but when the protest intensified, we chose this over our kids’ school event. Today (Monday) will be the second working day they are missing but this is no big deal. This, right here, is a lesson for the kids to understand what the country is going through,” said Faheeda, who was at the location with her one-year-old baby when police beat protesters with lathis.

Also Read : ‘Hinduism is a Religion, Don’t Politicise it:’ Rapper Nigavithran 

Several protesters were disappointed with media channels who fail to show the extent of protests in the country.
Several protesters were disappointed with media channels who fail to show the extent of protests in the country.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“Do not be like those channels which record everything but then when we wait hoping to see it on TV or mobile, nothing is shown. This video or photo you are posting should reach Narendra Modi and Amit Shah and they should know what our goal is,” urged this elderly woman as we captured her on camera.

Ushers were standing all over the area to ensure there is discipline.
Ushers were standing all over the area to ensure there is discipline.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“Do you need some water? You seem tired...why don’t you take this packet of biscuit? Shall I send a guy to help you walk through the crowds?,” said an usher, reaching out to journalists, protesters and others at the cite. Several men and women are stationed all over the place to direct people to the protest site, escort women who need to walk through a crowd, provide water and food packets and to ensure order and discipline.

Also Read : ‘Won’t Budge’: A Shaheen Bagh Awakens at Bengaluru’s Bilal Bagh

T-shirts, head bands, wrist straps, face painting - wearing dissent in one’s own’s style.
T-shirts, head bands, wrist straps, face painting - wearing dissent in one’s own’s style.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“They are providing us with safety, water and food. Our job is to stand up for the nation. That is the least we can do for Bharat Mata.” said a woman protester who sat in front of the stage.

The women have vowed to protest indefinitely until the controversial laws are repealed.
The women have vowed to protest indefinitely until the controversial laws are repealed.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

Though a majority of the participants were from various Muslim communities, everyone here stated how the place was for all, irrespective of gender and caste.

Face painting is how these boys decided to wear their dissent.
Face painting is how these boys decided to wear their dissent.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“No CAA, No NRC,” shouted the Vijay fan as he showed off his face paint.

You could see kids ask their parents to explain the slogans.
You could see kids ask their parents to explain the slogans.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

Hundreds of women, across all age groups, in the streets near the Pencil Factory at Washermanpet are determined to keep the fight going.

Also Read : WebQoof Recap: From Empty Shaheen Bagh to Weed Curing Coronavirus

Volunteers make sure to provide water, juice, biscuits, food packets to all the protestors.
Volunteers make sure to provide water, juice, biscuits, food packets to all the protestors.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

Waheeda, who has been part of the organising group at the protest, said they are amazed at how much of support they have been receiving.

“People here pitched in from their savings and many well-wishers have sent in donations. People who can’t be here want to make sure we have food, water and shelter from the sun and rain, so that we can continue our protest,” she said.

Also Read : How Prashant Kishor’s I-PAC Guided AAP on Amit Shah & Shaheen Bagh

At least 20 people are delegated with the task of ensuring smooth traffic flow.&nbsp;
At least 20 people are delegated with the task of ensuring smooth traffic flow. 
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

As you take a left turn to enter this area, many can be seen standing along the main road, directing traffic and helping pedestrians cross the road. The protesters are taking turns to ensure traffic and public life is not disrupted.

The two mothers on the right, were determined to not just participate in the protest but to also explain to everyone why they believe CAA is unconstitutional.
The two mothers on the right, were determined to not just participate in the protest but to also explain to everyone why they believe CAA is unconstitutional.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

“We have left all our work because we have decided to protest. God will take care of us,” said a confident Saira Banu, who has been sitting in for the fourth consecutive day.

Also Read : Dear Liberals, Don’t Score on Shaheen Bagh by Dissing Kejriwal

A few of the parents were even seen explaining to the kids what citizenship meant and how they are protesting so that they will never have to leave their hometown.
A few of the parents were even seen explaining to the kids what citizenship meant and how they are protesting so that they will never have to leave their hometown.
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

This young boy’s mother was proud to maker her son sing slogans demanding an ‘Akhand Bharat.’

A couple of women have taken up the task of writing slogans and putting them up on the shutters of the shops and doors in the area.&nbsp;
A couple of women have taken up the task of writing slogans and putting them up on the shutters of the shops and doors in the area. 
(Photo Courtesy: Smitha TK/ The Quint)

The group here has divided themselves into several committees to take care of discipline, food, water, traffic and other supplies, especially special items for children, so that the protest goes on while lives are not disrupted.

Also Read : Is BJP Ready for Hard Times Ahead Post Shaheen Bagh Model’s Win?

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