Bilkis – the ‘dadi from Shaheen Bagh’ is now one of the world’s most influential people

Bilkis DaadiBCCL
  • The 82-year old Bilkis is now one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world.
  • She was one among the many women who would walk from their houses in the nearby localities and sit in protest all day into the night at Shaheen Bagh.
  • Protestors had gathered at India’s national capital’s Shaheed Bagh to raise their voice against the Indian government’s Citizenship Amendment Act.
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For days at end, protestors gathered at India’s national capital’s Shaheed Bagh to raise their voice against the Indian government’s Citizenship Amendment Act. But it was the ‘ dadis of Shaheen Bagh’ who made the most noise, just with their unflinching loyalty for the protest.

And one of them – 82-year old Bilkis — is now one of Time's 100 most influential people in the world. Bilkis became one of the prominent faces of the protest for her sheer resistance despite her age. She was one among the many women who would walk from their houses in the nearby localities and sit in protest all day into the night at Shaheen Bagh.

“Bilkis deserves recognition so the world acknowledges the power of resistance against tyranny”, says the Time's piece by journalist Rana Ayyub.

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In a Mint report, Bilkis said that she was fighting for the idea of a plural India, against all odds. The protests at Shaheen Bagh hit pause only as the rising number of coronavirus cases in India posed a threat to the people protesting at the site and was followed by the country-wide lockdown.

The Indian government had passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill in December 2019, which had led to a series of protests across the country. The controversial act meant to give Indian citizenship to illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religions, however Muslims were not included in the list. In February 2020, India’s national capital Delhi was smeared with blood as riots broke out in various parts.

Bilkis might be just another face in the protest, but for thousands, she became the story of grit and determination and the soul of Shaheen Bagh protests.

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