Former Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Minister Yashwant Sinha is on a yatra from Gateway of India, Mumbai to Rajghat in Delhi. A core group of 100 individuals is travelling through India, addressing public meetings, speaking to the people on the Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens to counter government propaganda. Sinha is being joined along the way by local leaders, activists and others with Prithviraj Chauhan and Shatrughan Sinha in the current convoy. The yatra was flagged off by Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar.

In quick interview to Seema Mustafa the 82 year old leader felt that a change was on its way, not overnight, but that it would come. And that the leadership would arise from within the young people leading the protests, “we do not have to worry about all that, it will happen when even today an 82 year old like me is being led by the youth.”

Excerpts from the inteview:

Q. So what is the reason for this convoy?

A.We flagged off this journey from the Gateway of India and will reach Rajghat on January 30 (Gandhi’s martyrdom). We are a core group of 100 in 20 vehicles and are stopping en route to address meetings, speak to the media and to the people about the divisive agenda of the government in pushing the CAA and NRC. We feel the government has taken very unnecessary and provocative steps to implement a divisive agenda. And instead of empowering the citizens it is looking after the interests of foreigners. Under the existing law the government has the power to give citizenship to whosoever fulfils the requirements so it is extremely provocative to exclude a community.

We expect and demand the government to repeal CAA in the forthcoming session of parliament, and withdraw NRC altogether.

We are also demanding a quick high level judiciary enquiry into the state led violence in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, including the assault on the students of Jamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University and Aligarh Muslim University.

The purpose of this is to counter the falsehoods and propaganda by the government and sensitise people about the divisive agenda of CAA and NRC.

Q. It’s unfortunate though that Parliament itself passed CAA..?

A.Yes it should not have been passed. It is a black law passed by Parliament and will go down in history as a black day.

Q. There is a youth uprising in its wake, what do you make of it?

The youth has risen against the government. The young people fully understand the dangers involved in the governments move and have show the way. They are in the lead ---after all when a 82 year old person like me is today following the youth.

People talk of a leader, we should not worry about it. Some one will emerge from this, a young leader will emerge. If even three months ago I had told you ‘Seema there will be an upsurge of this kind, after the BJP won that startling majority in the Lok Sabha, you would not have believed me…”

Q. So do you see this as the beginning of the end for the government, as some say or is that going over the top?

I am confident it will happen, but not overnight. It will take time, the movement will have to sustain itself for a while. Every move takes time, the beginning of the end can be seen, but not overnight.

Q. We have seen a lot of violence, now with the protests do you think the possibility of more violence still exists?

Yes. The doctrine of the state is to crush all opposition and dissent and it will continue to try. We saw it in Kashmir, and now the rest of India. As I said, they started by saying they would make Kashmir like the rest of India and now they have turned all of India into Kashmir. But they will not prevail