Bilkis, an 82-year-old woman who was at the forefront of the Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), has been named by the Time Magazine in its list of ‘100 Most Influential People of 2020’.
Bilkis, one of the ‘dadis’ of Shaheen Bagh, became the face of the Shaheen Bagh anti-CAA protests that went on to trigger massive protests across the country, inspiring similar demonstrations in Kolkata, Mumbai and other cities that went on for months.
The Shaheen Bagh protesters camped in makeshift tents on the road for months, demanding the government to repeal the controversial CAA law.
The Time Magazine article authored by journalist Rana Ayyub talks of how Bilkis became the voice of the marginalised and she refused to budge from the Shaheen Bagh protest site even in the peak Delhi winters and threats from supporters of CAA.
Bilkis, one of the ‘dadis’ who had been demonstrating against the CAA since it began, had declared they wouldn’t move an inch even if someone fires a gun.
Bilkis had said they will not move until the CAA is repealed. “They call us traitors. When we pushed Britishers out of the country, who are Narendra Modi and Amit Shah? We won’t move an inch even if someone fires at us. You remove NRC and CAA, we will clear the site in no time.”
Bilkis’ firm resolve went on to inspire thousands of students and student leaders across the country who carried on the anti-CAA protests for months.