Guwahati, January 15, 2019:
In the wee hours of the morning of Magh Bihu, the elderly residents of the Odalbakra locality in Guwahati city of Assam stepped out of their residences determined to make their voices heard.
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Congregating at the Savitri Bharali School playground, where they had constructed several mejus (traditional bonfire) the elderly citizens brought out leaflets of the CAA, and tearing the copies into pieces, threw them into the flames of the ‘meji’ that burned brightly, perhaps symbolizing the rage and resentment of the public over the imposition of the CAA.
Their children and grandchildren also accompanied them in the protests, as the community raised their voices in unison against the controversial legislation, repeating again and again that they would not accept its imposition at any cost. Their chants were also accompanied by the sounds of traditional Assamese instruments like the taal (cymbals).
“We are burning the CAA in the fires of the holy meji, we are tearing its copies, and we will not accept the Bill at any cost. We appeal the people — irrespective of their caste or religion — to come together so that the CAA can be defeated”, said a local resident, while talking to Inside Northeast.
Across the State, the Bihu festivities have been marked by the burning of representations of the CAA has become a norm. Moreover, many communities have constructed bhela ghars (bamboo-and-straw houses where the trademark Bihu feasts are held) that depict the struggle of the Assamese people against the allegedly “unconstitutional” and “communal” legislation.
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