How a large gathering of Indian protesters welcomed the new year with revolutionary defiance, rejecting the Hindu nationalist government's 'discriminatory' policies.

Thousands of Indians in New Delhi celebrated the New Year's Eve by protesting against 'discriminatory' citizenship policies, which were part of the election manifesto of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling Hindu nationalist party, the BJP. 

Braving the biting cold, people from all ages, young and old, participated in the protest to mark the beginning of 2020 with revolutionary zest. Many women had come to the protest site along with their children, some of them as young as one year old.

From poetry recitation to singing songs of Indian patriotism, the protesters feel the new citizenship law named Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) combined with National Register of Citizens (NRC) pose a grave threat to the secular spirit of the Indian constitution since the measures complicate the citizenship status of Indian Muslims. 

TRT World visited the protest site in New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh neighbourhood — one of the protest hotspots. 

On the New Year's Eve, women protestors were seen in full swing taking equal participation in the protest at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi,
On the New Year's Eve, women protestors were seen in full swing taking equal participation in the protest at Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
Indian protestors holding placards demanding to save Indian democracy and its secular constitution.
Indian protestors holding placards demanding to save Indian democracy and its secular constitution. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
Indian Muslim women, who are often portrayed as weak and subjugated in the mainstream media, took to the streets soon after the police launched a brutal crackdown on student protests in New Delhi.
Indian Muslim women, who are often portrayed as weak and subjugated in the mainstream media, took to the streets soon after the police launched a brutal crackdown on student protests in New Delhi. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
Children as young as one-year-old toddlers were brought to the protest site in New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh on December 31, 2019.
Children as young as one-year-old toddlers were brought to the protest site in New Delhi's Shaheen Bagh on December 31, 2019. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
A local band played songs of Indian patriotism while the crowds cheered and sang along.
A local band played songs of Indian patriotism while the crowds cheered and sang along. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
Bollywood actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub recited a poem that inspired hope.
Bollywood actor Mohammad Zeeshan Ayyub recited a poem that inspired hope. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
A group of protesters lit a fire and sat in a huddle to keep themselves warm through the night.
A group of protesters lit a fire and sat in a huddle to keep themselves warm through the night. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
The growing and countrywide opposition to India's citizenship law poses biggest challenge to Modi government in 5 years.
The growing and countrywide opposition to India's citizenship law poses biggest challenge to Modi government in 5 years. (Tehreem Fatima / TRTWorld)
Source: TRT World