Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh on New Year: thousands of CAA protesters welcomed 2020 with national anthem in the freezing cold

As the clock struck 12 midnight, thousands of protesters in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh welcomed the new year singing the national anthem during their protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

While the rest of the country was busy in celebrations, these protesters braved the freezing cold of Delhi. The Shaheen Bagh protest has been on for over two weeks now and is being mostly led by women.

There were women sitting for a fixed number of hours every day along with their children, as little as one year old, even as the temperature in Delhi dropped to a 118 year low last Saturday. The protesters could be seen covering themselves with blankets – which are of little help when one is outside in the freezing temperature.

The New Year’s Eve gathering was particularly significant because there were all young people who had joined the protest skipping parties. People from all the walks of life including artists, students, teachers, among others were seen gathering on the Noida-Kalinidi Kunj Highway that leads to Shaheen Bagh, as a mark of solidarity.

They waved the national flag and chanted “Aazadi”. There were activists who took the stage one by one to voice their protests against the CAA as the other protesters listened intently. There were artists who were conducting art therapy programmes and games for the children present at the protest ground. Some students’ bands held performances.

Temporary tea stalls were opened at the protest site for providing a bit of comfort to the protesters in the bitter cold. Locals have been offering protesters food and tea. Campaigns are also being run on Twitter for collecting blankets and other essentials for the protesters.

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