B’Luru Anti-CAA Rally: Is The Sedition Charge On Amulya Noronha Justified?

The 19-year-old Amulya Noronha, who is from Karnataka’s Chikkamagaluru, comes from a family of activists. Her father, Oswald Noronha, was an environmental activist who had participated in Appiko Chaluvali, a southern equivalent of the Chipko Movement.

So, it must be quite understandable for us that being vocal about her thoughts and taking a stand for her ideas is what she must have learnt from a young age. But her words weren’t taken in the right way. Actually, people didn’t even let her complete her words to say the least.

While seeing the video I was simply awestruck with the desperation with which she was trying to complete her sentence. Many men jumped up at her trying to snatch the mic and stop her from giving her speech, despite her pleading to let her speak. But she tried her best. She very courageously stood there trying to voice herself but instead due to misunderstandings, she was heckled.

Amulya was arrested for allegedly shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” at an anti-CAA rally in Bengaluru. The police booked her for sedition, provoking enmity between groups, and intentional insult to provoke breach of peace.

Later, they produced her at the residence of Judge Shamsheen Ankur, who sent her on a 14-day judicial custody.

“Amulya was arrested after we booked her under sections 124A, 153A and 153B of the IPC in a sedition case filed suo-motu for raising pro-Pakistan slogans at an anti-CAA rally,” a police official told IANS.

But that wasn’t enough. People took efforts to vandalise her home which was attacked by unidentified miscreants last evening. Visuals showed broken window panes of her house with police officials reaching her the spot and investigating the matter.

Her father said that the incident took place at around 7:30 PM. “They are all BJP supporters. They were in a group. I have complained to the police with the names of a few who led the group,” he was quoted by the Hindu.

It really doesn’t matter who the people were and which party they supported. The thing which really matters is that she wasn’t given her freedom to speak.

If people around her panicked hearing those blasphemous words which she wanted to normalise, they ignored that she tried to create awareness that every country is great in itself. But no, how dare she?

They should have asked her to speak her mind and not just go ahead and charge her with sedition. In fact, the way she was treated by all those men was not justified at all. And if there were women police present on the spot, then how did those men dare manhandle her?

I don’t think that calling a “zindabad” for any country is so bad that someone should be brutalised like that. It’s a really sorry state seeing a young student who is just trying to stand firm on on an issue be treated like this, whereas many are still shying to take a stand.

This wasn’t the first time that Noronha, who has become a familiar face at anti-CAA and NRC protests across Karnataka, made headlines. Last month, getting inspired by Kunal Kamra she asked Mahesh Vikram Hegde, the editor of right-wing propaganda website Postcard News, at the Mangaluru airport to sing Vande Mataram to prove his ‘Indian-ness.’

And after that, she was sent to judicial custody. Hegde, in a very satisfied manner, tweeted about his patriotic self and titled her as “these,” in front of whom he couldn’t have sung Vande Mataram. Well, that is perceptive.

In a Facebook post on February 16 in Kannada, Amulya Noronha wrote, “Hindustan Zindabad, Pakistan Zindabad, Bangladesh Zindabad, Sri Lanka Zindabad, Nepal Zindabad, Afghanistan Zindabad, China Zindabad, Bhutan Zindabad… Whichever country it is, Zindabad to all countries… You teach the children that nation is its soil. We children are telling you nation means its people.”

And this was her perspective which doesn’t seem to me alarming or seditious. But at the end, who am I to say anything? Just another person raising her voice and using the fundamental right to freedom of speech till I am able to use it.

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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Read more about his campaign.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

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Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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Find out more about the campaign here.

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Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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