Women Talk

Who is Bilkis Daadi, the Indian Woman Listed in Times Top 100 Most Influential People?

The world is watching, Daadi of Shaheen Bagh made it to the list of TIME’s Top Most Influential People

Bilkis Bano, an 82 year – old – women with wrinkled face, trembling voice and visible bones, made it to the TIME’s Top Most Influential People alongside Narendra Modi (Prime Minister of India), Ayushmann Khuranna (Television Actor), Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) and Ravindra Gupta (Professor, for his work in curing an HIV Patient).

Daadi Bilkis is the backbone of the voices of resistance against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizen (NRC). Rana Ayyub writes about Bilkis in the TIME, telling that Bilkis, as a parting note to her, 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.” Ayyub wrote about her experience when she first met Bilkis – “she sat in the midst of a crowd, surrounded by young women who were protesting with placards displaying verses of revolution. With prayer beads in one hand and the national flag in the other, Bilkis became the voice of the marginalized in India, an 82-year-old who would sit at a protest site from 8 a.m. to midnight.”

On 15 December 2019, a group of around 10 – 15 women sat occupying half a kilometre stretch of the Kalindi Kunj road, in solidarity with the students of Jamia, who were brutally beaten up during a peaceful protest against CAA-NRC. Disturbed by the visuals obtained of Jamia and the controversial and communal idea of the CAA – NRC, Shaheen Bagh became the centre of resistance against it. And, Bilkis was the face of this protest.

Shaheen Bagh has been an all-women protest, and Bilkis, along with other women sat for more than 3 months at the Kalindi Kunj area, showing up at 8 a. m. in the morning and sitting there till midnight. With the outbreak of Coronavirus, the women had to abide by the social distancing orders, hence, they furthered it with leaving their chappals on the protest site, marking that the protest is still on.

In a speech of Bilkis, brought to notice by InUth , Bilkis ardently opposes the idea of the Government. She says, addressing the Prime Minister on the claims which call these women sitting on protest for exchange of money, ‘we don’t need your money… think you can’t be unseated, we are the ones who have put you on the throne, and we can bring you down any minute’.

Read more: What is Pink Tax? Why is it problematic?

Here is what Twitter is saying on Bilkis Daadi.

While it is a proud moment where an Indian woman is being featured among the 100 Most Influential People of the World for her ferociousness and resilience, it leaves a good reason to question the cause for which she is featured for? For voicing dissent against the PM, and his intent of raising communal divide which times have noted in the cover made for the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi itself. Karl Vick writes in TIME, ” First elected as a populist promise of empowerment, his party, BJP not only rejected elitism but also pluralism, specifically targeting Indian Muslims”. Notably, the world is watching India and you can decide for yourself, what are they watching.

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Ishika Aggarwal

Can write, shoot, listen, talk and procrastinate. A feminist at heart, Ishika is an avid writer and multimedia person who loves talking about women, realism, and society. When not working she is either seen watching films or making one.
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