23 April, 2021

Shaheen Shines On

The pandemic may have derailed the Shaheen Bagh protests, but the resolve to fight CAA remains strong

Love and Rebellion
Saima Khan and Kahkashan Riyaz at Shaheen Bagh
Photograph by Suresh K. Pandey
Shaheen Shines On

Shaheen Bagh has been quiet for the past five months. The iconic protest site, once bustling with music, slogans and crowds, now sees a heavy police presence round the clock. The numerous graffiti and artworks that once adorned the site are now buried under fresh coats of white paint.  

Five months ago, it was touted as the epicentre of a popular movement against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens. Largely helmed by women, the leaderless movement was a historic event.

Though the protest was disbanded due to the pandemic in March, the indomitable spirit of the women remains as resilient as ever. Beneath the silence, there is a brewing consensus to continue with peaceful protests.    

Saima Khan, one of the protesters, says that the monumental agitation at Shaheen Bagh is nowhere close to its end. “The protests were halted because of the pandemic. Whenever the protests begin, I am ready to join again. Our demands were not fulfilled,” says the 34-year-old. The three months of the protest...

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