- Women have been at the forefront of protests for the last one year
- The law poses no threat to indigenous culture, Chief Minister has assured
- Assam last witnessed such scenes during the six-year agitation in 1980s
Thousands of women took out protests across Assam on Saturday, a day after Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal assured the people that the Citizenship Amendment Act poses no threat to their indigenous culture, language and land rights.
Dressed in traditional clothes, the protesters shouted slogans and reminded the government that they are descendants of historical women icons who had fought the Mughals themselves. "We are descendants of warriors like Mula Gabharu, Kanaklata and Bir Lachit Borphukon. Assam has a history of struggle and injustice, and just like we cannot allow ourselves to be subjected to injustice, we cannot let the Citizenship Amendment Act happen. It's a straight 'no' from the women of Assam," said Rubi Dutta Baruah , who was protesting in Guwahati's Latashil field.
Similar emotions echoed across Jorhat, Golghat and Brahmaputra Valley, with thousands of women in their best Mekhela Chadors and Asomiya Gamochas wrapped around their foreheads raising a united voice of dissent. "This law will harm the interests of the state, our language, our culture and our communal harmony. We have been protesting against it for a long time, but the government did not listen to us," a woman protester told NDTV.
Another activist standing by her side said that their agitation will not end until the law is withdrawn. "We want peace, not Bangladeshi migrants. Peace will return only when the government agrees to what our mothers are saying -- scrap the Act!"
Women have been at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act in the state for the last one year. It had last witnessed such scenes during the six-year agitation in the 1980s that culminated in the historic Assam Accord.
The older women say that Saturday's situation was much worse. "Unlike what had happened back then, Saturday's situation is unexpected and unprecedented," said Mamoni Kalita, who is in her seventies.