Author Arundhati Roy on Saturday joined protestors opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens exercise at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia, saying “no detention centre was big enough” to accommodate them, The Indian Express reported.
“I have come here to tell you that I am with you,” she told students in front of gate seven of the university, also known as Jamia Square. “Now that we have all come together, no detention centre will be big enough to fill us in. I hope that a day will come when this government, which is trying to break the nation, will be in the detention centre and we will be azaad [free]. We won’t back down.”
Roy shouted slogans such as “Inquilab zindabad” (long live revolution), “Jamia zindabad”, “JNU zindabad”, and “Desh ki janta zindabad”. The crowd cheered her on and joined in chorus.
The author also donated books written by her to the open library being run by the students, PTI reported.
Roy has been a vocal critic of the ruling Narendra Modi-led government.
Last month, Roy told Scroll.in that the Citizenship Amendment Act had broken the back of the Constitution of India. On December 17, Roy had said in a statement that the people of India are now faced with “the biggest challenge since Independence”.
A criminal complaint has also been filed against the author after she had asked Indians to oppose the National Population Register by furnishing wrong names and addresses. However, she had later clarified that she proposed a “civil disobedience with a smile”.
Violence broke out after a protest march by students of Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia ended in a pitched battle with the Delhi Police in December. Buses were set on fire, and several students and police officers were injured. The police were accused of using excessive force and even assaulting students. Police also entered the Aligarh Muslim University campus the same evening after a clash broke out between them and students. They baton-charged students and used tear gas shells on them. Following this, protests against the amendments to the Citizenship Act and the alleged police brutality against the students swept campuses across India.