Indian Muslim woman protester among Time's 100 most influential people
Indian Muslim woman protester among Time's 100 most influential people

NEW YORK, Sep 25 (APP): An elderly Indian Muslim woman, who became the face of last winter’s extraordinary female-led protest in New Delhi against India’s anti-Muslim citizenship law, is on Time magazine’s list of 100 “Most Influential People of 2020”.

Bilkis, 82, was part of hundreds and thousands of women, who peacefully protested against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) imposed by the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Shaheen Bagh, a largely Muslim neighourhood of New Delhi.

“Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country,” Indian writer Rana Ayyub wrote for Time’s profile of the defiant protester.

“Bilkis became the voice of the marginalized in India,” she wrote.
The annual list features pioneers, leaders and icons from around the world who have made an impact.

According to legal experts, the CAA, which makes faith the basis for acquiring Indian citizenship, goes against the country’s secular constitution, and is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.

“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,” Bilkis told Ms. Ayyub, a well known author, during the protests earlier this year.

She added that Bilkis deserved recognition “so the world acknowledges the power of resistance against tyranny”.