Ahmedabad: CEPT students wear black bands at convocation to protest CAA

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A graduating student sports a black armband. (Photo: Javed Raja)

In a symbolic, silent protest against the new citizenship law, scores of students graduating from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, wore black armbands at the university’s 14th convocation ceremony on Saturday.

The bands were a mark of not only registering the students’ opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), but also one of solidarity with students who have been assaulted across the country.

One Fahad Zuberi, who received his degree for completing a masters in architecture (M.Arch) on Saturday, said, “Initially we had 10-20 participants, but by the time of the ceremony, 30-40 students had tied the bands of their own volition. We had informed the college administration via email nearly three days ago. The authorities had responded positively keeping in mind our individual rights, while also stating that the convocation is a solemn ceremony. Being a part of the educated society, we are in solidarity with all the students who have been assaulted. We are also opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act because it is discriminatory not only along religious lines, but is bound to affect everyone, even the elite. The act also compromises on the values of secularism.”

A total of 484 post-doctoral, post-graduate and undergraduate students from the various faculties of CEPT — management, design, technology, planning and architecture — were conferred with their degrees at the convocation ceremony.

Nine-time champion in Billiards and Snooker and Olympic Gold Quest founder (OCQ), Geet Sethi was the chief guest of the event.

The OGQ was founded in 2001 by Sethi and Badminton champion Prakash Padukone, later joined by Chess champion Vishwanathan Anand.

CEPT University President Bimal Patel described Sethi as his “schoolmate”. The architect’s Ahmedabad-based firm, HCP Design is building the Central Vista, including the Parliament and the Rajpath.