The Many Faces of Shaheen Bagh: We Stand United

Amnesty International India
3 March 2020 1:31 pm

From a 90-year old Asma Khatoon to a young advertising professional – the peaceful protesters of Shaheen Bagh reflect the true diversity of India. No wonder Shaheen Bagh has become the epicentre of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) over the past two months.

The Shaheen Bagh protests have not only attracted the affected communities, but also other like-minded individuals who are calling for communal harmony and government accountability. Here are just some of the many faces of Shaheen Bagh:

The Women of Shaheen Bagh

The defining feature of Shaheen Bagh are the women protesters. Young, old, from villages to urban cities, women have not only been participating but leading the protests. Following the violence of the Jamia protests, concerned mothers began protesting to defend not only the Constitution but also the rights of their children. People who have attended the protests often credit the Shaheen Bagh women for the endurance of these protests.

The 90 Year Old Protester

In our video documentary ‘Shaheen Bagh Rises: We Will Not Be Divided By Hate’, Asma Khatoon is the 90-year old protester whose frail body cannot contain the anger within as she says fiercely: “we are putting our blood and sweat into this protest!”

A snapshot from the documentary

The Sikh-Muslim Brothers

In a heartwarming development, the Sikh community travelled to join the Delhi Shaheen Bagh protest, outraged by the hateful rhetoric of the ruling government.

Punjabi Sikh men and Muslim men exchange turbans and skull caps, share their meals, host langar (traditional Indian feast) and endure the long cold nights of Delhi, united against a common enemy: hateful and divisive politics.

A Punjabi man ties a turban on a Muslim man in Shaheen Bagh

The peaceful protesters seem determined to only leave Shaheen Bagh once their call for justice and communal harmony are met.

Amnesty International India is calling on supporters from around the world to add your voice to these brave communities and sign the petition to defend India’s right to peaceful dissent. 

By Soumya Bhat, digital campaign strategist at Amnesty International India.