Many Dimensions of Shaheen Bagh Movement in India

bilkis devaki shaheenbagh

The protest in Shaheenbagh began on December 16, 2019 against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC), National Population Register (NPR) and against police brutalities. Now, more than seventy days later, it emerged as a non-violent, creative and an inspiring movement led by women – a movement against fascism, a movement of reckoning based on the ideology of humanity to protect constitution and its values. Its purpose is to counter the hate and polarization spread by the autocratic majoritarian regime. It is a movement which is writing `herstory’ of collective rebellion by women and children, students and artists, professionals and people who came together to resist against the authoritarian state and its anti-people policies. It is about survival with dignity while protecting one’s identity and existence.It is about protecting the human rights. The movement is a step towards reclaiming the soul of India where young and old generations from diverse communities came together to assert that politics of hate and communalism is unacceptable.

One of the significant aspects of this movement is that the women across the country came together to protect the idea of India and to hold the state accountable. Against the mighty, arrogant, insensitive, devious state, women well aware of dangers of being arrested, of facing lathis, tear gas shells, pellets or guns,of being hit by goons,of being labelled as anti-national, terrorists and jihadisare bravely protesting continuously facing chilly winters and rains of Delhi and are dealing with the violent tactics and threats of forceful eviction deployed by police and state to remove protestors as they claimed to have block the roads.Based on the Gandhian philosophy, embedded in Constitutional values, grounded in the thinking of BR Ambedkar, Savitri Bai Phule, Fatima Nafees, Bhagat Singh, and many other freedom fighters, it began as a leaderless protest without any nexus with any group or political party who could claim its interest.

This movement gained much momentum and within a short span, the ruling party at the Center made Shaheen Bagh an election agenda in the Delhi Assembly elections held in February 2020 where the leaders of BJP made every effort to infantilize, delegitimize and malign the movement using derogatory language and violent actions.In fact, the entire state apparatus and the corporate media is being used to attack peaceful protestors, their cause, action and ideology. Yet, the ideology on which this movement is based emerged victorious and today, Shaheen Bagh has spread to more than 115 places all over India where people are coming out to reclaim their rights, to retrieve democratic ideals and to reject fascism.

Shaheenbagh is a live example to show that democracy implies `rule of the people, by the people and for the people’ where citizens are actively yet peacefully expressing their dissent. Currently, the matter is sub-judiced before the Supreme Court and the mediators are negotiating with protestors.The President of USA on his visit to India has commented that he will discuss about the CAA with the PM of India.Even earlier, several human rights organizations including United Nations have expressed their concerns about the CAA. Hence, Shaheen Bagh has acquired an international dimension too. This piece briefly points out several dimensions of Shaheen Bagh movement and the manner in which it is transforming India.

Emergence of the movement called Shaheen Bagh

Shaheen Bagh is a neighbourhood located in Okhla District near Jamia Nagar in Delhi. The word Shaheen is a Persian word eulogized in poetrywhich implies a falcon.This locality came into limelight when women in the area began their peaceful protest on 16th December 2019 following the violent brutal attack by Delhi police on the students of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) on 15th December 2019, after the passage ofCAAon 11th December 2019 when the people of the country began their resistance against the law. Same evening, the police assaulted students in Aligarh Muslim University, UP using tear gas shells, lathis, stun guns on the unarmed students, not sparing even those sitting in libraries. Many of the students are severely injured and one of them lost his eye. Later, in the first week of January 2020, the goons attacked students in Jawahar Lal Nehru University under the unlawful, illegal and arbitrary protection by police. In fact, thehigher education has becomes a battle field in the war of culture and ideologies.

This brutalityby the state brought many men and women on to the streets and united people belonging to different faiths despite of the state’s persistent effort to polarize and divide people on religious lines. The movement is against the idea of citizens suddenly becoming stateless because of whims and fancy of those in power that every person should prove through his or her citizenship through documents. It is against this notion that papers suddenly become important to prove one’s worth as a human being. It is also against the lynching of Muslims and Dalitsand against the agenda of demonizing the communities to make India a Hindutva rashtra. It is a rage against the Supreme court verdict in Babri Masjid demolition matter which made mockery of justice. It is the rage against the oppressive practices and procedures of the State as seen in Kashmir and Assam. It is against state’s brutalities, oppression, glorification of criminals while criminalizing the oppressed.

Though started as a protest against amendments to citizenship laws, the movement is built around the anguish and torment of six years, simmering anxiety, long frustration and outrage among common people against the anti-people, anti-minority and anti-women policies of the Modi government such as negative impact of demonetization and GST, growing unemployment, increasing inflation, rising poverty, mob lynching, trolling, farmers suicide, widening inequalities, systemic failure of rule of law, police brutality, falling position of the country in hunger index to democracy index, increasing corruption and changing social fabric since BJP government came to power. The regressive regime is subjugating people in various ways. The country is being recognized as most unsafe place for women while those in power protect and glorify the rapists and lynchers. This anger and despair added fuel to fire.

Over the period, these protestors have also supported unions opposing the anti-labour policies.Also, farmers from Punjab, joined to express their solidarity with protestors to cook Langar for women. Grandmas of Shaheen Bagh hoisted the tri-color on the republic day and stood with the cause of Kashmiri Pandits. Shaheen Bagh electric, inspiring, soul stirring protest has inspired women across the country to educate, organize and agitate. It changed the political dynamics and altered the rules of game while rewriting the grammar of politics.

Shaheen Bagh is a movement led by women collectively

One of the significant facts is that Shaheen Bagh is led by women.It is not for the first time that women are resisting, but for ages, they have fought against violence, wars, fascism and hatred – in their homes, communities, and against state repression. Their dissent takes myriad forms but the spirit to battle against hatred and violence remain as a backbone. Frequently, they devise various creative strategies to resist and defy against patriarchy in homes and in public spaces.

History reveals that women have endured continued resistance in all forms for long and resisted against alcoholism to fighting against large corporations.  From participation in freedom struggle women have played significant role in Chipko movement in 1973, Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in 1980, Bhopal Gas Tragedy in 1984, Narmada Bachao Andolan, resistance against dowry,rape and other forms of violence and for protecting life and livelihood. In fact, women continued to fight with indomitable spirit for life and livelihood of their children and communities. Besides, agitations that began in December 2012 after the brutal gang-rape of Nirbhaya have stirred conscience and women within universities are actively debating the issue of safety and security. Pinjra-tod (Break the cage), Me Too and many such campaigns have emerged in educational institutions which galvanized mass support to change the discourse relating to women’s safety, regulations in hostels, restriction of women in public places and with sexual violence. In fact, in 2015, the girls in Jamia initiated a campaign using sanitary pads to denounce rape culture. Most of the women are first generation learners in higher education, aspired by urban mobility, staying in hostels, renting and managing their lives, they refused to give up their agency.

However, this time the struggle is against the oppressive state policies of the regime which is using entire state machinery and resources to shut the voices of dissent while polarizing the society. Against such fatal attack, women educated, organized and agitated collectively and came up with creative ideas of resistance while using the rhetoric of love and peace. The idea is to fight fearlessly without any intimidation or retribution. Young girls from universities in jeans, bindis, burqa and hijab emerged as symbol of couragewhile portraying their strong grit and determination. Mothers came out to protect their children. Some sat with their new born babies, day and night, writing new grammar of resistance. Young and old women, dadi and nani, all came together to defy the authority. More than anger, it is the love, safety, care, concern for their children, all are the drivers that guide the struggle. The women who have been on margins and have been inaudible and invisible took the center stage and used the Constitution as a weapon to resist the agenda of hate and polarization. They learned the art of defiance and tactics of survival. As swords and not shields, women continued to resist for days.

The women’s movement has long back talked about the slogan `personal is political’. But this time, when girls from JMI protected male student from police brutality, women from Pondicherry and Jadavpur University used convocation ceremonies to make anti-CAA statements, the resolve of students of JNU to stand up after being hit, personal became political so as political became personal. The public-private divide is eliminated when the women who are being labelled and painted as home makers crossed the social and moral boundaries drawn by the cultural norms. Both Muslim and Hindu women emerged out of the domain called home or ghar-bahar or the public world against the existential threat posed by the majoritarian State while reclaiming political space to revive the soul of India.

Why Women Resisted against CAA/NRC/NPR?

The reason being that the process of CAA and NRC threatens women in greater way while eroding their constitutional rights. It marginalizes women while reiterating the hegemonical order threatening women from across classes, castes and communities.Majority of women in the patriarchal society do not own immovable property under their name and are dependent on their fathers or husbands. Even their maiden names are frequently changed after marriage. In a patriarchal society, women already are at the receiving end. Frequently marriages are not registered and getting a birth certificate is a tedious process. With no documents to prove citizenship, women know the problems they are bound to face once the law will be implemented. For poor women it is an issue of survival and threaten their existence because many of them hardly possess documents. The experience of NRC being implemented in Assam is full of heartbreaking anomalies and legal loopholes that have left married women stuck with no recourse. Women not only from minority communities but across section somehow imagined the fate after being disenfranchised without documents being detained in camps.

From ShaherShaherShaheen Bagh to GharGharShaheen Bagh

(Every city to every home became Shaheenbagh)

The ideology and energy of Shaheen Bagh is so captivating that in every citywomen came together to resist against anti-people policies. Gradually,Shaheen Bagh emerged as an icon or pilgrimage where Constitutional values are highlighted as supreme above all imaginary concept of nationalism. The idea of organizing protest in every neighborhood overcamethe hindrance of travelling which was a big obstacle to women’s participation in the political process. Proximity of the protest site to home rendered choice to agency and even those who have never attended any political event earlier in their life, came together.Many resisted against their conservative Hindu families, to join the protests. In several homes, members within a family, choose to support different ideologies.Political ideologies suddenly gained importance while choosingand marryinga partner. The sustained political agitation witnessed transformation of many young women who became determined, vociferous and resilient.

Shaheen Bagh provides a space to reject conservatism and patriarchy

In the conservative north Indian society, women, for ages, have been at the receiving end of patriarchal, casteist, religious, sectarian, fascist, communal and economic oppression and are continuously fighting daily battles throughout their lives against sexism, misogyny and patriarchy within homes, in communities and against state repression in various forms. Facing all kinds of restrictions within homes and communities in the name of honor, safety and security, for many women, crossing the boundaries of four walls is not easy. Many have to fight the conservative cultural norms to venture into public spaces including getting admission in colleges or to join workforce. Participating in a protest therefore is not an easy option for women wherein the society expects them to remain confined within homes. But several are determined and dare to participate in protests, defying family norms and writing a new definition of womanhood.The veil, ghoongat, chunnis or hijab, has become a symbol of revolution to claim constitutional rights to create a better future and to challenge the power defying authority of different kind at home in public and in political spaces to challenge the corrupt insensitive system.

Shaheen Bagh helps women to resist and reclaim masculine public spaces

Most of the public spaces are undeniably masculine where men enjoy privileges in a patriarchal society whereas women are relegated and confined to domestic or private. Cities are being designed in an androcentric manner and less women occupy public spaces because of conservative attitudes which socially exclude women. However, the protests at all Shaheen Baghs are seeing women in large number who are coming forward to demand their citizenship rights while challenging the androcentric state, sitting day and night on streets and roads with small children in cold weather, occupying and resisting in spaces which are typically masculine. This is a major transformation where women showed a path to freedom from all forms of restrictions imposed by patriarchy, communalism, casteism and oppression by mighty state.

Shaheen Bagh represents the true Hindustani culture

Shaheen Bagh depicts the true spirit of secular India a culture of love, peace and respect for others based on philosophy of Vasudaiva Kutumbakam (world is a family) or unity in diversity. It represents shared national identity and composite multiculturalism or the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. In other words, it implies harmonious co-existence and distinct synchronization of people practicing different faiths and beliefs. So, when PM Modi stated that “protestors could be identified with their clothes” people hold inter-faith prayers or Jashn -E-Ekta. Intercommunity dialogue began while the younger generation which remains uninvolved in politics became more politically savvy and engaged. People began to raise questions and distinguish between good governance and bad governance.

Fighting Bigotry, violence and Lies with Truth, Peace, Courage and Love

Shaheenbagh is a non-violent movement without any patriarch leader and is built around mass mobilization by students and fearless women which gives important lessons of patience and preservance. While using the national flag and with Preamble of the constitution on their lips, the protestors keep on resisting all forms of violence inflicted by the authoritarian state. When the leaders of ruling party used the offensive violent language, the protestors raised slogans of love and peace. From handing roses to police personnel to feeding those deployed at the site is used to spread strong messages to shatter the hegemonical domination.Food, biscuits, chai, biryani, halwa all being distributed by people from diverse background to keep the protests going along with unprecedented solidarity being displayed to speak truth challenging those in power. Bindis and burquas are used innovatively to while reiterating the secular values enshrined in the Constitution and the demonstrated the fact that women are better leaders. This ability is further harnessed by increasing use of digital technology and use of social media to spread message and truth to counter the lies and fake news being mainstream media imparted a sense of liberty and broader role by acquiring voice in public space. Social media emerged as a proven formidable weapon against corporate media driven effort to threaten and coerce into narrow idea of the fascist regime.  Political maneuvers, misinformation, counter-threats, vicious agenda of politicians and journalists all are being sidelined by the feisty women revealing the moment of reckoning.

Not Right or Left, Shaheen Bagh is about Humanity and to save idea of India

Shaheen Bagh indeed emerged as an idea of India, a thought and an ideology which is completely different from that of extreme right or left. It is the compassion, care and above all humanity which drive women from different background to resist and dissent against the law which is anti-constitutional and anti-people. Shaheen Bagh is rooted in the ideology of humanity and rights, above the differences of religion, caste or creed. It is a creative form of satyagrah where people from different backgrounds resisted together under a common umbrella. A culture of caremotivated these protests and determine their tenacity to sit for hours. The vulnerability of being pushed at margins strengthened the fight against injustice. From around 20,000 to 1.5 lakhs people gathered at the protest site in a day, almost every day, while local women take turns to remain on site adjusting to their family obligations. Learning from colonial freedom struggle reviving Gandhi and Ambedkar, the movement continued to grow strong. Women sent post cards to the Prime Minister office to invite him for a dialogue on citizenship law.

A Self-Disciplined Movement

These protests are not organized, coordinated or guided by any political party. No religious leaders are being allowed to take over. Without any charismatic leaders or organizers, these protests are self-disciplined where millions of hearts came together to beat at every chowkand street with no chaos, teasing or harassment while re-writing a unique history of dissent and creating a distinct culture of care for fellow beings. Those protesting sit patiently with sheer resilience in a disciplined and hold each other hands when outsiders tried to attack the movement. Witty heart touching resistance slogans of kaagaznahidikhayenge’,</em>(we will not show the papers) <em>tirangahumara, deshhumara, samvidhanhumarabhagwatumhara’,(The tricolor, country and constitution belongs to us you only own saffron flag) and others are being used to laugh, mock and jeer pejorative terms such as urban naxals’,anti nationals’, tukde-tukde gang’,khan market gang’. Protestors tried to win the unequal power struggle with humor and satire.

Shaheen Bagh represent the creative resilience spirit of India

The protestors used brilliant imaginative ways to articulate their outrage and anger. Artists, writers, singers, dancers, intellectuals and working people joined in while using their creativity and imagination to express dissent. Art, theatre, drama, songs, poems, nazm, graffiti on roads and walls become the new language to convey the simple messages of peace. Speeches, creative slogans, placards, banners, painting, rangoli, lyrical poetry or shayari, Aazadi songs, and all forms of artistic methodology is utilized to express dissent. Revolutionary poets as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Pash, Mohd Iqbal, Ram DharisinghDinkar, Habib Jalibare being sung. Read for revolution is created as a space where hundreds of books are crowd sourced to create a library and later on a bus stop is being shaped as Fatima Sheikh Savitri Phule Library to share ideas relating to Constitution, fascism, revolution, oppression and various social issues. Activity centers for children emerged at the site of protest. A model map of India, a scale model of detention camp and a mini replica of India Gate, an artwork in the shape of heart made from hundreds of paper boats, miniature tank denoting oppressive state, all is used to spread the message of peace and resistance to counter the state oppression.

Shaheen Bagh is an answer to the communal politics of hate, otherization and polarization

The BJP government asserted Hindutva majoritarianism using divisive polices while othering the minority communities in India and diverted the attention to Hindu-Muslim agenda, exploited the concept of Islamophobia, incited nationalism to promote war with Pakistan, abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, exploitation of the Mandir-Masjidissue and to create imagery of nation based on religious discrimination, toxic masculinity, lies and hatred. Despite of continuous efforts being made by the state to polarize the nation through using main stream media 24×7 to spew venom and spread hatred, the people of India stood united. Spontaneous protests across the country against the repressive regime under the banner to reject CAA, NRC brought people from different backgrounds together while rejecting the idea of polarization. Power of women on streets frightened the regressive Hindutva state which has hold women in secondary positions relegating them to household duty of bearing and rearing children besides taking care of homes.

Shaheen Bagh threatened the oppressive regime

Bewildered by thousands of women, the state conspired to subvert the movement and, in the process, resorted to filthy tricks. The state actors, being threatened began to malign this movement by alleging that it is sponsored by anti-India forces without realizing the fact that millions of people have been voluntarily participating for the cause of India of their dreams. Initially, the state infantilized women asserting that women have no agency of their own and have been used by other political parties, however, later it used other tactics to subvert the protests. Earlier, Muslim men have been portrayed as jihadis, terrorists and internal enemies, but now scores of women who came out on street are portrayed as traitors and are labelled as “den of Pro-Pakistani, Jinnah loving, anti-national, anti-Hindu, paid protestors who are tarnishing the image of India”. Efforts have been made to malign the campaign when it is falsely claimed that women protesting are paid on daily basis. However, women countered the attack byfiling notice against those who made this illegitimate claims. Those in power used slang language to declared that men themselves are sleeping under the quilt while pushing women forward. Mainstream media is using all forms of tactics against women braving chilly winters of discontent at many ShaheenBaghs. Even, later, this movement has been declared as a global conspiracy by Muslim countries to divide India. Social media is used to malign the campaign in every manner. The pictures of banners and slogans are being photoshopped by police and those who are against such protests.

Brutal police force is deployed against women protestors at many places. Several people died in police firing. At other places too, women were assaulted and attacked, specifically at Ghantaghar, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, police took away the water bottles, biscuits, blankets and locked the door of the washroom used by women sitting on protest in open. However, by evening, 5000 more joined the protest and fresh stock of required items was restored. Also, women started their own vigil by putting ropes and forming human chains.  Men were intentionally kept out so that the police in plain cloth could not find ways to sabotage the protest.

Those who oppose Shaheen Bagh used various strategies to malign and debunk the movement while making hate speeches against the protestors and threaten them in various ways.Instead of talking to the protestors of clarifying their doubts regarding the law, the autocratic state responded in bizarre way, because probably they could not think of any rational way to deal with women in large number who refused to give up the battle for their due claims as citizens. The ruling regime acted cynically with callousness in reaction to people who acted energetically that invigorated democratic essence of a republic. The democratic and constitutional protests assured a moment of hope to rediscover the strength of political and secular methods amongst fragility skepticism, melancholy and vulnerability ushered by unresponsive narcissist dangerous regime.

Shaheen Bagh is about people of India versus the authoritarian state

The tyrannical state used its entire apparatus to disperse protest and to curb dissent. The police, the courts, the sedition laws, law such as UAPA all are activated to dispel and intimidate people. In fact, Shaheen Bagh is highlighted as an election issue by BJP for the Delhi Legislative Assembly elections held in February 2020. During the campaign, one of the MP went up to the extent of saying `Deshkegaddaro ko Golimaro….’ (traitors be gunned down).  But undeterred brave women of Shaheen Bagh, to counter this narrative of toxic violence, came out with the imaginative slogan “Deshkepyaron par, phoolbarsaosarron par” (Loved ones in the country be showered with flowers). The Home Minister responded that the government will not move an inch back to which protestors replied that they will not go back a millimeter till the government revoke the anti-people law. The minister urged people to “press voting button so hard so that the current is felt at Shaheen Bagh”. Yet, despite of such tactics deployed by the state, Shaheen Bagh wins the heart of people and the narrative of hate is rejected.

Suddenly, the state agencies began finding the protests as inconvenience. Agencies such as National Commission for Protection of Child Rights have been used by the state to flag children in videos circulated of protests who may face trauma and asked authorities to counsel them but no suo moto actions have been taken when others are being imprisoned by police or lynched by mobs. The Supreme court while hearing 144 petitions filed against CAA, NRC and NPR gave four weeks to the center to file the reply to which women responded, “Chaarhaftey. Chaarmahiney. Chaarsaal. Jitne din baithna para baithenge hum isimaidan par, jab taksarkar yeh kaala kanoon hatatinahi”. (Four weeks. Four months. Four years. We will sit here, till the government revokes this law).” The Court instead of adjudicating the CAA petitions appointed mediators to talks to protestors, howeverthe mediators so appointed also found that police is blocking the road. Women also put demands before mediators appointed by the court.

Despite of insensitive and intensively brutal efforts made by State to remove women from Shaheen Bagh, people persisted continuously, energetically, patiently and vigorously exhibiting their choice and agency and stood against the state valiantly with hope for better future of their kids as well as that of the country. Rather the ideology with which Shaheen Bagh initiated spread over to the entire country against the politics of toxicity and hatred.

Constitution to counter majoritarian tyrannical state

While reciting the Preamble of the Constitution national anthem and flag on the streets, people across the country are reclaiming the idea of India. Despite of the fact that the state is taking brutal action against the protestors and the courts are unable to defend the constitutional rights, men and women, are persisting and collectively exercising their democratic rights, protesting in myriad ways, rewriting the present and future of this country against divisive ideology of hate but based on the belief of justice. Constitution becomes the legal and political shield. Anti-CAA protest shifted the discourse into larger political realm of citizenshipfocusingon the concept of rights, philosophy, ethos and morality of governance. Constitution became a vibrant document and in 70 years, perhaps for the first time is debated and discussed in the streets and on the roads. Common people engaged with the constitution in new ways, reciting Preamble, discussing rights and arguing the concept of citizenship reawakened by the spirit of solidarity across religions, caste or class barriers. The charter of rights is being publicly rehearsed. People engaged with the politics and shape the idea of citizenshiplike never before.

Shaheen Bagh is an example of participatory democracy

Shaheen Bagh is a wave of solidarity and unity of people of India against tyrannical majoritarian regime.Women and students in many Shaheenbaghs across the country are providing an alternative idea of `New India’ which propagates for inclusive, diverse yet unified, secular, just, nation based on togetherness, co-existence of different religions, castes and creeds while reclaiming the soul of India reiterating dreams of freedom fighters and makers of Constitution. People reclaim and exercise citizenship actively over and above their right to franchise while questioning the anti-people laws and policiesand actively participated in the process of governance.The public in an imaginative way becomes a part of republic completing the unfinished task of fulfilling the constitutional value of equality, dignity and liberty as enshrined in the Constitution by laying their claims as citizens of the country unfolding the passionate imagery of the idea of India challenging the power and hegemony while resisting in the manifold ways.

Shaheen Bagh is an ideology to reclaim the idea of India

Sinhasankhalikaro, kejantaaatihai” (Relinquish the throne, for people are coming to reclaim) wrote a famous poet Ramdhari SinghDinkarwhich reflects thespirit of freedom, hope for justice and self-determination is being witnessed currently once again after 70 years the country adopted its Constitution. The constitution makers have painstakingly imagined the idea of India while focusing on values of equality, justice, liberty, fraternity and secularism. Shaheen Bagh is an act to reclaim those secular spaces and to fight courageously for shared dreams and hopes. People, across the country are engaging with the Constitution in new ways while rejecting the divisive notions and finding new meaning of citizenship exhibiting the innovative spirit of democracy.

Shaheenbagh has become an icon for change and an exemplary inspiration where women are courageously drivinginqlab or revolution. It is about power of people and more specifically power of women. It shows that women are not vulnerable but tenacious warriors who are fighting battles continuously, day in and day out, against patriarchy, fascism, bigotry, misogyny and sexism in private and public spaces everywhere across borders. The revolution of women of many ShaheenBaghsall over the country revives faith in democracy and in power of people to defeat patriarchy, hate and fascism. Spivak in her famous work “Can the Subalterns Speak?” raised a significant question, and the answer is provided by women who beingrelegated to marginality have shown that vulnerability can be a site to contest, to struggle for claiming rights and entitlements. The courage to fight is driven by hope and desire for peace, justice, safety, wellbeing and love. The solidarity and unityis fostered to create a better, just, equal, dignified, oppression free world around them, thus shaping the present, while imagining the possibilities for an alternative world and this jazba or passion of Shaheen Bagh is spreading all over the world despite all obstructions.

Shalu Nigam is an advocate, researcher and an activist working at the intersection of gender, law, governance and human rights issues. Currently she is practicing law, earlier, she has been awarded a Senior fellowship by the ICSSR, New Delhi and is connected to several organizations such as PUCL, CWDS, Indian Social Institute, Delhi among others. She has published several articles and books. Recent one is Women and Domestic Violence in India: A Quest for Justice.  She is a co-author of The Founding Mothers: 15 Women Architects of Indian Constitution. She has been publishingregularly. Some of her writings are available at here and here.




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