Published: 01st January 2020
Delhi joins students at Jamia, Shaheen Bagh to welcome 2020 with Azadi Slogans
The people who had gathered outside the university ushered in the new year by singing the National Anthem. Students sang songs of protests, recited poems and spoke about their struggle
The students of Jamia Millia Islamia welcomed 2020 with a 'New Year Revolution' and people of Delhi thronged the varsity's Gate No 7 to see them sing and talk about the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and their protest against it. The students had to stop the programme just after midnight as it became hard to control the swelling crowd. But the entire programme was peaceful and no instances of any violence were reported.
The people who had gathered outside the university ushered in the new year by singing the National Anthem. Students sang songs of protests, recited poems and spoke about their protest from 8 pm to 12.15 am in the chilly Delhi night. 'At the stroke of the midnight hour', the streets around Jamia awoke to a crowd — students and members of the civil society — chanting Azadi slogans. But the programme had to be concluded right after midnight. "We had around 100 volunteers but the crowd kept increasing. We could only see a sea of people from Gate 7 to Zakir Hussain Makbara. There were around 4000 people there and it was getting difficult to manage so many people. That's why we ended it (the programme)," said Safoora Zargar, a member of the Jamia Coordination Committee who has been part of protests happening in front of the varsity since December 16.
There were also rumours that the police were on their way as the number of people attending had crossed 5000 by midnight and that reportedly thinned out the crowd.
A much larger crowd gathered at Shaheen Bagh just a couple of kilometres away from Jamia to be part of the anti-CAA and NRC protests. In videos doing the rounds on the internet, students along with locals could be seen demanding 'Azadi' from CAA and NRC, while several roamed around waving national flags with creative placards against the new law. As the clock struck 12, the protesting crowd sang the national anthem, followed by the slogan "Inquilab Zindabad".
In some of the videos and photos, a few people could be seen distributing biryani among the fellow protesters. The banners set on the stage read 'The Azadi Night' (The Freedom Night). "This was the celebration of our struggle. People from every walk of life joined in and chanted slogans, sang songs and welcomed the new year with us," said Nabiya Khan, an ex-student of Jamia who is now pursuing her BEd from Indraprastha University. The gathering was also addressed by Yogendra Yadav and actor Zeeshan Ayub, who spoke about the controversial Act and what NRC could potentially do to India.
Twitteratti appreciated the night-long protests and #NationalAnthem started trending with 32.2K Tweets, following which a user wrote: "Goosebumps temperatures around 2 degree but people celebrate 2020 with National Anthem under the open sky with their infants. Salute, this is true love for their nation #ShaheenBagh." A user while sharing a video, wrote, "That's how we welcomed the new year — with the national anthem and cries of 'hum ek hain'. #InqalaabZindabaad."