Couple ties knot amid anti-CAA chants, posters in Washermenpet protest site

As the couple did not want to leave the protest, they spoke to their families and requested if marriage ceremonies could be held at the protest site
Couple ties knot amid anti-CAA chants, posters in Washermenpet protest site
A newly-wed couple along with others raises slogans during an anti-CAA rally, at Washermenpet in Chennai

Chennai

It was an unconventional way to celebrate convention at the Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh like protest at Washermenpet. A young Muslim couple tied the nuptial knot amid anti-CAA, NPR and NRC posters and the sound of protesters chanting near the Washermenpet Roundtana on Monday.

N Shahinsha and Sumaita S married each other in a typical Muslim ceremony in the noon on Monday. For 20-year-old Sumaita, it was a very different experience. “I have seen my friends getting married in a hall. But we got married during a protest. It was different, but I still enjoyed it as we got to share it with more people than we initially thought,” she said.

The couple had been protesting at the four-day-long continuous protest along with their families since Friday. As they did not want to leave the protest, they spoke to their families and requested if the ceremonies could be held at the protest site.

“We were all protesting with them from the start. When they told us, we agreed and then got the required permissions to carry out the ceremonies. I am very proud of my daughter and son-in-law for standing true to their cause,” said S Jerima, Sumaita’s mother.

Once the wedding was over, the couple retreated to Vaigai Mahal on Thiruvottiyur High Road for their reception and to take photographs. “Muslims have contributed so much to India. We have built structures like the Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar. We are members of the India that Mahatma Gandhi envisioned. It is not right for us to be asked to prove our status here through certificates that my parents do not have,” 22-year-old Shahinsha explained.

It is a memory that the couple will cherish for the rest of their lives, their family said. “When we have children, I will tell them how we got married during a protest to secure their future. That is what the protest is about. And I hope that my children will also have the strength to fight for their future like how their parents did,” said Shahinsha.

They are not the only ones to have gone above and beyond to ensure their presence at the protest. According to 39-year-old Fazalah Begum, “I got permission from the school I work as a teacher to attend the protest. When I explained the reason for indefinite leave, they immediately granted it to me. I am very grateful to them for that.”

The continuous protests at Washermenpet, titled Chennai’s Shaheen Bagh, is in solidarity with the protesters in Delhi, and against the police lathi charge that occurred on Friday evening.

Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi while addressing the crowd said, “Much like how we fought against the British, we must rally together to fight against this act. Many are trying to make this a Hindu-Muslim conflict. That is not the case. People want you to think that all anti-CAA protestors are Muslims,” he said to the crowd, which amounted to nearly 4,500 people.

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