Indian PM narendra Modi, an 82-year-old woman from Shaheen Bagh protests and actor Ayshmann Khurrana are among the people on TIME magazine’s list of 100 ‘Most Influential People of 2020’.
Bilkis, alias “Dadi of Shaheen Bagh” has been listed in “Icons” category. While Modi is listed in Leaders category,
Bilkis is one among Dadis better known as the ‘Dadis (Grandmothers) of Shaheen Bagh’.
Shaheen Bagh became the heart of protests against CAA as hundreds of people, mostly women, sat in the harsh winter for over 100 days on the road in a peaceful protest.
Bilkis’ profile in the magazine list, written by journalist and writer Rana Ayyub, reads, she “became the voice of the marginalized in India…. Became the symbol of resistance in a nation where the voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned out by the majoritarian politics of the Modi regime.”
She had been sitting there ever since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act, which could block Muslims from citizenship in the country, in December, and she continued through the cold winter.
Bilkis, along with thousands of women who joined her in Shaheen Bagh, a neighborhood in New Delhi, became the symbol of resistance in a nation where the voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned out by the majoritarian politics of the Modi regime.
Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country.
During the protest She said “I will sit here till blood stops flowing in my veins so the children of this country and the world breathe the air of justice and equality.” Bilkis deserves recognition so the world acknowledges the power of resistance against tyranny.
She also added “Look at the protest where we are. It is not that only Muslims are protesting. Come and see how many people are distributing food. They are from all religions. Someone is giving us bananas, some giving us juice and biscuits,”