The Shaheen Bagh protests have been going on for almost 65 days now. For those who are unaware, it is a form of peaceful- sit-in protests led by women and their children that began on December 15, 2019, to not only against the CAA-NRC but also for women safety, the rising cost of commodities and increasing unemployment and poverty. Mainly consisting of Muslim women, it has now become the most prolonged ongoing protest against CAA-NRC-NPR.
This protest has become an issue for campaigning for the 2020 Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections. This blockade had made campaigners promise that if once they are voted into power, the people will be removed, as soon as the election results are out.
Due to the block, traffic that would usually take 20-30 minutes has been extended to around 2-3 hours just to cross that particular area. As the area is also a border point into the capital, thousands of trucks are being diverted to other border points. A section of middle-class voters had expressed their unhappiness with the Shaheen Bagh protest over issues related to traffic. The matter has even reached the Delhi High court and later the Supreme Court after five petitions were filed by the people affected.
Both the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal and the Union Home Minister, Amit Shah had used this event to attack each other. The BJP leader had made comments on the governance of Kejriwal’s rule and what his plans were for the people.“Your vote to the BJP candidate will make Delhi and the country safe and prevent thousands of incidents such as Shaheen Bagh,” Amit Shah said in public addressing.
The same day, he dared Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to act against the protesters, which was not well received as both Congress and Aam Aadmi Party leaders chose to keep quiet on this issue.
This had also made the BJP corner the AAP and Congress parties reveal their opinions on this long-standing issue. The AAP can’t be faulted on its governance; Kejriwal had connected with the people instantaneously, and so couldn’t be blamed of not voicing out his opinions.
Is this a deliberate and calculated move to polarise Hindus against Muslims? The Shaheen Bagh has become the emotional aspect needed for their political pitch.
In recent news, it was identified that the protesters of the anti-CAA were to march to the residence of Home Minister Amit Shah to talk about the law. This comes in after Shah himself addressed this and had mentioned that anyone who would like to know more information on the Citizenship Amendment Act could seek time from his office.
The women have been waiting for further permission from authorities to go ahead with their rally. The protesters chose a group of eight women, among whom elderly women who are known to many others as the ‘dadis’ of Shaheen Bagh; they approached the police to allow them to meet Shah and ensured that they would carry out the scheduled march peacefully.
What will be the fate of the Shaheen Bagh protesters? Will Shah be patient and available to reasons with these angry women and restore peace in their lives?