‘Will Fight CAA-NRC Till the End’: Shaheen Bagh’s Women Resist

Braving the cold and the fear for the past 10 days, the women in Shaheen Bagh continue to resist CAA-NRC.

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'Jo Qaum Babri Masjid ke khone par khamosh rahi
Wohi Samvidhan ke khone se udvelit ho gayi.'

(The community that remained silent when it lost Babri Masjid
is stirred up at the question of losing India’s Constitution.)

Sadhma Begum raised the poster as she joined the chorus for ‘Azaadi’ against the Modi government’s citizenship programmes with a hundred other women at Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh.

‘Will Fight CAA-NRC Till the End’: Shaheen Bagh’s Women Resist
(Photo: Asmita Nandy/The Quint)
“We have been sitting here for the last 10 days. We are asking for our rights. We come here at 7 am in the morning. And there is no time limit to when we stay. Sometimes we spend the entire night here.”
Sadhma Begum

For the past 10 days, the women in Shaheen Bagh have been braving the cold and the fear to come out and protest against the CAA-NRC.

Hena Parveen joins the gathering everyday with her baby son in her lap. She comes in the morning and stays till late. “I get biscuits and milk for my son. I feed him here. But I have to stay here. It is the fight for our identity.”

Hena Parveen with her baby son.
Hena Parveen with her baby son.
(Photo: Asmita Nandy/The Quint)
“Muslim women don’t have much freedom but for this fight, Muslim women have to come out. If they don’t come out, then whatever happened in Jamia will be repeated with every other Muslim. Instead of living like that, it is better if we die fighting for our rights.”

With poetry, music and speeches, the day-long protests at Shaheen Bagh have emerged as the fulcrum of resistance in the entire movement that sparked off after the violence in Jamia Millia Islamia on 15 December.

Multiple notices have been sent to the protesters to vacate the street as many shops in that area have been shut for days due to the agitation.

Arshad Jamal has owned a restaurant in the area for the last four years. He says, “There are many brand showrooms in this area, for which I think the fixed cost is very high. Now they have been closed for the last 10 days. Even I have been suffering losses for the last 10 days. A solution has to be chalked out because all the shopkeepers are worried, the showroom owners are also worried. But the agitation that has been going on, the cause for which people are sitting on streets, that is also a real cause.”

But the women have resolved to fight till the very end.

Rizwana Bano, a home-maker who has come out and joined the movement, said, “We are not scared. They have finished the fear. That is because we have to die tomorrow also, (it is better that) we die today.”

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