A protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019 and NRC in Mumbai on Friday. Image Credit: ANI

Hyderabad: Hyderabad once again rose with a single voice to reject the controversial Citizenship Act as hundreds of thousands of people thronged to hear a novel “protest Mushaira” (poetry session) in the heart of old city.

The first of its kind protest meeting, organised by the Muslim United Action Committee, featured popular Urdu poets — old and young — from across the country giving vent to the growing anger and frustration of the masses over attempts to turn secular India into a Hindu religious state.

Poets led by veterans such as Rahat Indori, Sampat Saral, Manzar Bhopali, Shabeen Adeeb and young guns including Aamir Aziz and Hussain Haidari recited their poetry reflecting the varied sentiments.

“Dictators fear satire the most,” said Sampat Saral asking people not to be angry at the government but to laugh at its ridiculous measures and decisions.

“When the ruler, instead of focusing attention on the basic problems of jobs and food, is talking about nonsensical issues, it is the time to laugh,” he said urging the masses to rise about the religious divisions.

Rahat Indori, in his inimitable style, recited his famous couplet, “Whatever decision has to be, it will be made here only, no second migration is possible for us.”

Shabeen Adeep said: “Hindustan is ours, Hindustan is ours, we will live here, we will die here, this is declaration of ours.”

Hyderabad MP and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi, who presided over the meeting, said the protests would continue till the controversial CAA was withdrawn. The next programme in Hyderabad would be formation of “human chain” to mark the day of martyrdom of Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi on January 30, he announced.

The meeting was also addressed by the leaders of several Muslims organisations and the religious scholars who are part of the United Action Committee.

Originally the meeting was to be held till midnight and culminate in hoisting of flag at midnight to mark the Republic Day celebration but the High Court did not allow it and restricted its time till 9.15pm.