On Sunday, people of different faiths met to take part in a "Sarva Dharma Sambhava" – a multi-faith prayer ceremony – in Delhis Shaheen Bagh, where demonstrators have been demonstrating against the European Citizenship Act for almost a month.
At the interfaith ceremony, in which a traditional Hindu-style "Hawan" and Sikhs "Kirtan" were sung, the participants also read the preamble to the constitution and took an oath to preserve their "socialist, secular" values.
"Scriptures from the Gita, the Bible, the Koran were read, and Gurbani was recorded. Then the preamble to the constitution was also read by people of different faiths who support this movement," said Syed Taseer Ahmed, one of the organizers of the protest, told the PTI news agency ,
The crowd swelled from hundreds to over a thousand in the afternoon. Congress chairman Shashi Tharoor was one of those who spoke the night before the protest. On a Sunday and in relatively warmer weather, more people could join the protest, he added.
The concept of & # 39; & # 39;sarv dharm sambhav& # 39; & # 39; (equal respect for all religions or peaceful coexistence of all religions) was popularized by Mahatma Gandhi in the Indian struggle for freedom against British rule to promote harmony between religions.
Hundreds of protesters, including women and children, stayed on Sarita Vihar-Kalindi Kunj Street in Shaheen Bagh on Sunday to revoke the controversial Citizenship Change Act (CAA) and a proposed India-wide National Citizens' Register (NRC) on Monday Last month.
44-year-old Zainul Abidin from Ghaffar Manzil had started a hunger strike on December 16 to demand that the CAA be lifted. After a fortnight, Mehrunissa (40) from Sarita Vihar joined.
In addition to them, three older women have been a constant sight at the center of the protest event since day one.
There is also a replica of the India Gate near the protest site, with the names of the people who died in anti-CAA protests across the country.
The replica has over two dozen such names, including those from states like Assam, Karnataka, Bihar and most of them from Uttar Pradesh.
Here people protested against Shaheen Bagh and the nearby Jamia Millia Islamia to oppose the CAA and the NRC. In addition to Delhi, protests and clashes in several locations, including Uttar Pradesh, have occurred in several parts of the country since the law was passed on December 11, where more than 20 people have died.
According to the amended law, members of the Hindu, Sikhist, Buddhist, Jainist, Parish and Christian communities who have traveled from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan until December 31, 2014 and are subject to religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants, but will be preserved Indian citizenship.
Law critics say that together with the NRC it discriminates against Muslims and makes religion a criterion for citizenship for the first time.
However, the central government has denied the allegations, claiming that the law gives citizenship to those persecuted from the three neighboring countries and does not deprive anyone of their citizenship.