Published: 25th December 2019
At Jamia's anti-CAA protests on Christmas, Santa Claus distributed copies of the Preamble with chocolates
Despite the Jamia Teachers' Association urging everyone to suspend their protests against the CAA/NRC on Christmas, the students celebrated the festival together at Jamia Millia Islamia
Jamia Millia Islamia has been the epicentre of protests against the 'unconstitutional' Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) since the act was passed in the Parliament earlier this month. Students at the varsity were victims of brutal police violence on December 15 and since then their resolve to fight and raise their voices against injustice has intensified. The protesting students have adopted peaceful and creative means to carry out their demonstrations at their institution. And so, on Wednesday, December 25, they decided to spread Christmas cheer through their protests as well.
Celebrating Christmas through protest
Despite the Jamia Teachers' Association (JTA) urging everyone including the students of Jamia to suspend their protests against the CAA and NRC on Christmas Day as it is a festival of happiness and peace, the students celebrated Christmas together at the protest site near Gate No 10 at the university. "People dressed up as Santa Claus and distributed chocolates, caps along with copies of the Preamble to the protestors today. We also conducted reading sessions of Gandhiji's book Hind Swaraj near Gate No 10 where the library is situated. The library is where the students were attacked on December 15, so the place is symbolic. We also have a cake cutting ceremony scheduled for the evening," Sahil Ahmed, who is pursuing his Masters in Peace and Conflict Resolution at Jamia told Edex. Sahil added that over a thousand people joined the protests on Wednesday and more are yet to join before they conclude the celebrations around 5.30 pm in the evening.
A poster created by a student of Fine Arts at Jamia Millia Islamia
Every protest at Jamia since the beginning witnessed some extremely creative artwork, posters and placards that the protestors carried or was put up on campus. On Wednesday the varsity was also decorated by fine arts students in order to keep the Christmas spirit intact. Kulsoom Fathima, a student from the Department of Fine Arts, who has been creating impactful artwork for the protests, told us how Jamia celebrates every festival with equal enthusiasm. "We used a lot of balloons, posters, and other decoration items all over campus for today's protest. I believe that these visuals are the heart and soul of any kind of protest. And at Jamia, we celebrate all kinds of festivals starting from Diwali — we created Rangolis on campus — to Holi and others," she said.
A scene from the protest
The protest is being conducted and led by the Jamia Coordination Committee (JCC) that was formed after the recent incident of police brutality at the varsity. Md Khalid Hasan, who is an alumnus of Jamia and also a JCC member told Edex that the main aim of the protest is to educate people. "Being the epicentre, Jamia has provided its own identity to the entire protest against the CAA/NRC. We are conducting these demonstrations every single day at the institution to convey the message of peace. And we will not stop. The ruling government has been trying to make this only about the differences between the Hindu and Muslim religions, but the fight is to save the secular fabric of our country. We have people across all religions coming and joining us and we want to convey that we are all united in this struggle to save our Constitution," added Khalid.