Jamia Millia Islamia student Ladeeda Farzana at an event organised by the Girls Islamic Organisation, in Pune on Saturday. (Photo: Arul Horizon)
Ladeeda Farzana, a student of Jamia Millia Islamia who has become the face of the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC), explained the opposition against the measures at an event in Pune on Saturday.
“The Union government has created Islamophobia in the country, and CAA is an attempt to harm the Muslim community,” she said at a programme organised by the Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO). She alleged that the “fascist government” was not only against Muslims, but also after marginalised and oppressed communities. She accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bringing in “draconian Acts” against several marginalised communities.
“This government has created Islamophobia... Amit Shah and Yogi Adityanath are against the spirit of the Constitution and are discriminating against Muslims...,’’ said Farzana.
“I ask Yogi Adityanath to release the political prisoners in Uttar Pradesh. I salute all the political prisoners. I also applaud the protesters who are out on the streets today,” she added.
On the protests by Jamia Millia Islamia students and the police action against them, she said the students were attacked “brutally” and many male students took refuge in the girls’ hostel. “Several students were injured. The girls’ hostel and the canteens turned into casualty wards. Students studying medicine provided the basic first aid as police did not let us take them to a hospital,” she said.
Farzana said she “never wanted to become an activist”. “I just wanted to be a student. But with the current acute circumstances, I had to take a stand. It is now my responsibility to take this stand,” she said.
She also applauded all the protesters who have taken to the streets, especially Muslim women. ‘’I am not forcing anyone to join the fight but we should unite all oppressed communities, and together, we can bring in change,” said Farzana.
The GIO joined her in raising slogans against CAA, NRC and the National Population Register (NPR).