The women of Shaheen Bagh protest against India's new citizenship law
January 18, 2020 7:22 PM   Subscribe

‘Sea of people’ at Shaheen Bagh as protest against citizenship law nears a month "On Sunday, the streets leading to Shaheen Bagh in southeast Delhi were jam-packed with people, heading to support the women protesting against the citizenship law and the National Register of Citizens. The protest, which started nearly a month ago, is only gaining momentum with time. " More background on the new laws being protested against in this prior post on Metafilter.

'Women Don’t Give Up.' Why Female Protesters Are at the Forefront of India's Resistance Movement
(History of women's leadership in protests in India)

In Pics: Anti-CAA Solidarity on New Year’s Eve at Shaheen Bagh

Behind Shaheen Bagh’s Women, An Army of Students, Doctors & Locals | The Quint
(Youtube video - well worth watching for idea of the organization that goes behind a monthlong protest like this).

'A Fight For Children's Future': Women At Shaheen Bagh On Citizenship Law

Shaheen Bagh reclaims the national anthem (protestors singing the Indian national anthem on New Year's Eve).

The brave women of Shaheen Bagh

"Neither the cold, nor attempts at communalising the protests can take away the fact that Shaheen Bagh is testament to the Muslim woman's arrival in Indian politics."

Unity in diversity at Shaheen Bagh as citizens conduct hawan, recite Quran and Gurbani at anti-CAA stir

"The inter-faith ceremony, where there was a traditional Hindu-style 'hawan', chants of Sikh 'kirtan' and Quran recitation, saw participants also reading out the Preamble of the Constitution and taking an oath to preserve its "socialist, secular" values.

"Scriptures from the Geeta, the Bible, the Quran were read and Gurbani held. Then the Preamble of the Constitution was also read out by people from varying faiths who are supporting this movement," said Syed Taseer Ahmed, one of the initial organisers of the protest."

Sikh farmers from Punjab come to cheer Shaheen Bagh women, cook langar
posted by peacheater (15 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is heartbreaking, terrifying, and the protests are also inspiring. I'm still going through the links but thank you for putting together this post and especially for bringing the story of these women to my attention.
posted by primalux at 8:47 PM on January 18 [5 favorites]


over 2 lakh is over 200,000 people right? How does that compare to other recent protests and political events in Dehli?
posted by gryftir at 9:14 PM on January 18


just spoke to my mom visiting at the Bengal club, skype is out, they can't call out, but my Nokia can call in to their smartphones - prolly 2G
posted by Mrs Potato at 2:45 AM on January 19 [2 favorites]


Not directly related, but the people of Kashmir are still cut off from the internet and we literally have no idea what's going on there. He's got literal concentration camps set up in Delhi to lock away all the people he's trying to revoke the citizenship of.

Modi is ripping India apart, and a horrifying number of Hindus have revealed themselves to be ethno/religious nationalists who are fully in agreement with what is amounting to a slow motion ethnic cleansing.
posted by sotonohito at 5:17 AM on January 19 [14 favorites]


over 2 lakh is over 200,000 people right? How does that compare to other recent protests and political events in Dehli?
I think it's larger scale than anything else seen recently.
posted by peacheater at 6:22 AM on January 19


This is a really excellent and informative post. Thank you for taking the time & thank you for bringing this material to our attention.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:30 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


Got shivers from this description in the linked TIME article.
Meanwhile, at the site a 65-year-old grandmother, Shabnam, sits attentively listening to a speech. As the speaker begins chanting slogans of freedom and liberty, Shabnam joins in. “I have never been to a protest. I have never spoken at this pitch. I have never wanted to be heard or seen,” she says. But now I say, let’s march on Parliament. Let them see us.”
posted by spamandkimchi at 8:59 AM on January 19 [4 favorites]


I'm not used to reading about dads, much less entire families, attending political protests, so the following section from the first article really struck me:
Mohammad Wahid works in a bank and is a volunteer for maintaining peace and decorum at the protest.

He said, "Since evening, over two lakh people have come and gone from here. They have witnessed one of the biggest protests in the country so far, only next to the fight for independence."

Showing a family photograph captured at the protest site, he said, "Not just me, my entire family, my wife and my kids are here. This is a fight for the future. Tomorrow, if my kids ask me where I was while this law was being fought against, I will not have to hide my face in shame."
Just one of the many things I'm learning from this FPP, as there's so little coverage of this kind of on-the-ground movement in the mainstream Western press (especially with U.S.-centric news understandably but exhaustingly at the forefront of everywhere I usually look). It's really phenomenal what the women of Shaheen Bagh are doing, thanks for making this post about their efforts and the people supporting them!
posted by rather be jorting at 10:10 AM on January 19 [7 favorites]


Mummy made an interesting comment - "its all just like colonial days" - she's from the younger side of the generation who watched their parents fight for my generation's freedom and pride in walking around with an Indian passport, and getting a free visa from South Africa because of Gandhi's legacy. My father was 9 years old and remembers being taken by his freedom fighter maternal uncles to a window that gave the young boy an indelible memory of Gandhi's cortege. The Hindu Nationalists who murdered him refused to participate in the Independence movement. They're probably a construct of the Home Office conniving with the FCO again. I'll bugger your WOPs and WOGs for you, sir.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:49 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


with U.S.-centric news understandably but exhaustingly at the forefront of everywhere

No, I'm sorry, our understanding has spread very thin and is fraying along with our tempers.
posted by Mrs Potato at 12:52 PM on January 19 [2 favorites]


> No, I'm sorry, our understanding has spread very thin and is fraying along with our tempers.

Hey, sorry that earlier phrasing didn't come across more clearly. By "the forefront of everywhere I usually look," I was trying to emphasize a bit of a self-dunk (self-criticism) regarding my own U.S./Western-centric news consumption. It's not an excuse by any means, merely an acknowledgement that a sheltered Californian like myself, who isn't seeing coverage of this aspect of Indian news in the Californian, U.S., or British news sources I typically access, has a lot to learn. So much of keeping up with my own country's news involves learning about even more ways our civil liberties are being diminished or destroyed altogether, which makes it even more humbling and inspiring to read about these protestors putting their own frayed-out selves on the line to stand up against the unjust legislation and fight.
posted by rather be jorting at 3:38 PM on January 19 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this collection of links and for the context around it.
posted by lollusc at 9:06 PM on January 19 [3 favorites]


a horrifying number of Hindus have revealed themselves to be ethno/religious nationalists who are fully in agreement with what is amounting to a slow motion ethnic cleansing.

And why do I just know without having to look, that there will be RSSS bhenchods on social media writing "Don't they realise it's called Hindustan, not Mussulmanistan, amirite?"

(without even realising that "Hindustan" only ever really referred to the Ganges basin, roughly).

Meanwhile, we have the Rohingya fleeing Myanmar into the Northeastern Hill States & Bangladesh...why do I have a terrible premonition of even more people being squeezed into Bangladesh - a country that's going to be completely eviscerated by rising sea levels and climate change.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:26 AM on January 21 [4 favorites]


ah, fuck, not that shit again. I'm old enough to remember the blackout curtains time from 1971. You should know we thought Calcutta was safer than Singapore, every time.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:47 AM on January 21


Rather than struggle with every effort to hasten the second coming, can we not just pull the blackout curtains over the contaminated content masquerading as credible news and information that's spewing across our lands, seeking to divide and conquer?


I, for one, am hastening home to kick potato's ass off the couch and onto the winch.
posted by Mrs Potato at 9:51 AM on January 21


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