New Delhi: A visit to Jamia Millia Islamia where students and others have been sitting in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act has convinced him he is "alive", an impassioned Anurag Kashyap said on Friday.
The filmmaker, at the forefront of the criticism against the amended citizenship act, assured the students that he and many others stood behind the students in their long fight.
"I have come here for the first time. If we talk about the time before the past three months, I used to believe that we are finished and dead... but coming here today I'm convinced we are alive," Kashyap told the gathering.
The fight, he said, was to "take the constitution, country and everything" back.
"This is a very long fight. It won't end tomorrow, the day after or with the next election. But you need to have a lot of patience for this. They are waiting for people here to get tired and go home. So we need to have patience and stick to your ground," he said.
The outspoken director of films such as "Gangs of Wasseypur" and "Dev D", who also went to Shaheen Bagh, the epicentre of the anti-CAA protest, said people in power are waiting for the protesters' spirit to weaken.
"We have to be patient and sit in protest till you don't come and answer all the questions that we have in our hearts to our satisfaction. We will not believe everything you say," he said.
The students of Jamia are also protesting against what they term repeated instances of alleged police brutality. On February 10, they alleged, police personnel kicked them on their private parts, tore their hijabs, questioned their patriotism and abused them when they tried to march to Parliament on February 10 against the CAA and the NRC.
Kashyap said he had left Twitter but returned to it in December after police allegedly attacked students and entered the Jamia campus.
"I had left everything and went away but I changed my mind after what happened in Jamia in December. I saw a video of a girl and that gave me courage to return to Twitter. Now I will not stay silent," he said.
What started in Jamia has spread to different parts of the country, the director said.
"Everyday I read stories and watch videos about you people. This gives me strength. What is happening gives us the understanding and strength that we have an existence," he added.
Kashyap, who has been speaking out on Twitter and other platforms, joins personalities from the film industry such as Swara Bhasker and Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub who have not just voiced their opinions on social media but also been on the ground in Delhi and Mumbai to speak to the protesters.