With the passage of the draconian and unconstitutional CAA or Citizenship Amendment act in India and the upcoming threatened nationwide implementation of NRC or National registry of Citizens by the BJP government, it is time to defend secularism and to ensure that we stop any violation of human rights.
While Amit Shah may boast about his chronology of implementing hate and division, the below is MY chronology of RESISTANCE and REVOLT against this fascist regime in reverse order-
January 18th 2020, Toronto, Canada- 10 pm- Toronto 360 TV-
A panel discussion was held by Toronto 360 TV in community talk by Arif Jahangir. The panelists were Mr. Jotvinder Sodhi, Ms Naila Saeed and myself. The below panel discussion gives a great idea of our cause and why we are united in our stand against this black act-
January 18th 2020, Delhi, India- SHAHEEN BAGH-
The ground zero of revolt which has become the real modern Kurukshetra where the “Daler Dadis”and her supporters are standing up for the true Dharma of secularism. I visited there on Jan 18th, met the protesters and also informed them of the support from Canada.
They gave me the opportunity to address the people present, as is seen here–
Also below photographs of Shaheen bagh-
January 15th 2020, Toronto, Canada-Rawal TV
A panel discussion was held by Rawal TV, a part of Bell Media wherein Mr. Moin Siddiqui discussed with Mr Vijay Puli, a social activist and myself on CAA/NRC and why we oppose that. The discussion also went on, on the importance of secular values and why we cherish a secular world over countries which are based on religious values. It was telecast in four modules and the same are as follows-
January 12th 2020- Mississauga, Canada- Brainstorming session
A brainstorming session was organized by the newly formed forum Indo-Canadians for Humanity on the way forward in the struggle to fight CAA/NRC and I was given an opportunity to express my views. I do hope that my words could recite the pain of the voiceless who are the sufferers in this season of hate unleashed by BJP. View the speech by clicking here–
January 11th 2020- Hindi/Prawasi Diwas- Indian Consulate function, Toronto, Canada
At an event organized by the Indian Consulate of Canada at Holiday Inn, 970 Dixon Road, Toronto, Canada, the Indian embassy tried to issue a political statement from a social event by inviting Mr. Harivansh Naryan Singh, the Deputy Chairman of Indian Rajya Sabha to be the Chief Guest and Mr. Om Birla, the Speaker of Lok Sabha as the Guest of Honor. We had a great demonstration of our spirit and steel and also of the fear and cowardice of Indian administration led by the Consular general herself and her colleagues. Some of us entered the event wearing Gandhi and Ambedkar on our chest, a mark of an India that respects secularism, inclusiveness and its constitution.
I was the first one to enter and within minutes of my taking out my jacket, the Indian consulate officials came to me and asked me to leave. Upon my insistince that it is an event open to public and also an event to mark the Pravasi day and that I am sitting silently and listening to the speakers and that if they still wish to throw me out then they should call the cops to throw me out, he withdrew. This all happened while Harivansh Naryan Singh was speaking and also looking at the commotion happening. I only intended it to be a silent protest but the organizers tried to raise an undue hue-n-cry out of it.
Later when Naila entered with the rest of the group, on seeing that it is a larger group and will affect their image in front of Indian parliamentarians, they tried to block the group and also kept on persisting with Naila, asking her to leave. They even tried to snatch the camera from Shafi who was recording. We all got up and were standing near the exit when they tried to roughen us and were trying to manhandle and push us out. That’s when we put our foot down and told them clearly that we will not leave and this is Canada and not India and they cannot touch us or push us around.
Then the CGI approached us and on seeing her talking to us, a few of the officials again tried aggressive behavior, even pushing Naila and others. We told them unequivocally that we are just silent observers and will not leave. However we decided among ourselves that our protest was widely registered and also since we saw a few children in the audience, we decided to leave.
However while leaving we sang Inquilab Jindabad to let them know that we will not be silent. When we came out, they immediately locked the doors inside as they were in fear. We sang the national anthem outside and then left the place. I am sure the echo of this protest will reach Delhi in no uncertain terms. Thanks to all who came and stood shoulder to shoulder in this protest. The battle continues. Jai hind. Video below of the final part of protest-
6th January 2020- The birth of Indo-Canadians for Humanity, Toronto, Canada
At an event organized by the various activist groups, it was decided that to wage a stronger fight against CAA/NRC we all will have to join hands together and form a larger umbrella organization in Canada. Hence the birth of Indo-Canadians for Humanity where we will fight discrimination of all types and stand united against this law.
4th January 2020- Meeting with Iqra Khalid, MP Peel region, Mississauga, Canada
At an event organized by various Muslim organizations, I too joined them and went and met Ms. Iqra Khalid, the MP of Peel region and expressed our concerns against the citizenship amendment act and the upcoming NRC. She promised to support our cause and also guided us on how to take our protest forward in the various circles of Canadian parliament.
20th December 2020- Protest in front of Indian Consulate, Toronto, Canada
What a great day it was! In a protest organized by the students and staff of Toronto university and supported by various organizations, more than 500 people protested in front of the Indian consulate, chanted slogans and also spoke against CAA/NRC. The atmoshphere was electrifying and showed the resolve of a large group of people, across communities united to defend the secular fabric of India. I came in as a protester but got a chance to express my views and that is how came to meet other friends who were protesting and joined their cause. Even Ali Fazal from Bollywood joined spontaneously and helped in let our voice echo from the ground to the very top of 365 Bloor Street East. Some pictures below-
The fight continues……….