The protest began at 6 pm Tuesday at Maurya Circle in Bangalore and ended Wednesday at 6 PM. Many of the protesters were students who had come the first time for a protest. The students have been troubled by the recent events in the country from the attack on students at different universities in the wake of CAA and NRC protests. The students also demand the removal of CAA and NRC as they go against the constitution and the ethos of the country.
Nagaraj, a law student while talking to Gauri Lankesh news said- “This government is against education. They don’t like us asking any questions. One after another they are passing anti-people laws and they expect us to take it lying down. We will not! We have had enough… I am worried that tomorrow my university may be attacked. My parents are worried about my life at university.”
— Debasmita (@Debasmita) January 7, 2020
The students were not only protesting the violence at JNU, Jamia and AMU but also the general atmosphere of fear in the country that is trying to stifle all the dissenting voices.
Surya, an engineering student spoke of the increasing hatred in the society in this Hindutva regime. ” There is an atmosphere of fear and hatred. They have spread hatred in families, friends, neighbours. We deny this regime of fear, we are for love and peace. India as a country has lived as a multi-religious society, but for the last 5 years, its only Hindu Muslim debate to drive a wedge between communities. I am a student and I want to study, be a good productive citizen of this country. But how can I when I see hatred everywhere, when my neighborhood is burning, I can’t keep my head in the sand and ignore it. ”
— Abdul Razak (@inamdar_razak) January 8, 2020
Ramachandra Guha and Amnesty International Head Aakar Patel also came to support the protesters and interacted with the students.
Welcoming the legend @Ram_Guha to the #24HoursMarathon protest in Bangalore with an origami rose. Come join if you are around Race course area.#BangaloreProtests #IndiaAgainstCAA #RejectCAA pic.twitter.com/gZR2ToMXKq
— Waseem Ahmed ವಸೀಮ್ ಅಹ್ಮದ್ (@Waseem_Ahmed11) January 8, 2020
Many students had been given directions from their colleges not to attend anti-CAA-NRC protests, but the students felt that they cannot sit silently at such times when our country is being torn from all sides.
Somashekhar, a Journalism student echoed similar sentiments.- ” We have seen an attack on universities in the last 5 years. We haven’t forgotten Rohit Vemula, who committed suicide due to discrimination at Hyderabad University. We do not come to universities to die… We come here to study. But how can we? In Jamia, students are beaten by police, in JNU, students are beaten up by ABVP goondas, no action. How can I study in this kind of atmosphere?”
The crowd started growing slowly and by midnight, it reached around 1000, with students coming and going, taking turns, chanting slogans demanding freedom from this fascist regime. Students sang poetry, songs, slogans in many languages reminding us of the multi-ethnic and multilingual culture of Bangalore.
— Farooq (@BadmashFRQ) January 7, 2020
The demonstration went all night and in the morning fresh batch of students joined in to reinvigorate the night slump.
Many groups organized food water for the students, nearby restaurants allowed them to use the restrooms.