Shaheen Bagh : Falcon can’t be caged

Shaheen Bagh protest

By Abdul Quddus Suhaib

Today, amid the fear of Corona virus, the government breathes a sigh of relief. The reason isn’t the response to the symbolic janata curfew or the response of the educated elites, who are hoarding food stocks, sanitizers, veggies never giving a thought about the people who live a life of hand to mouth, as to how they are going to feed their children, to the call of working from home.

They are relieved because a protest site was razed to ground which was blocking a road in Delhi and creating nuisance to the innocent public or which was a road block to their hindutva project. Police was seen full swing working to implement the orders for the purpose of public safety, unlike during the Delhi genocide, where the mystery of five bodies in the drains of Delhi still remains unsolved. Media was in it’s full nationalist colours, critical of people who were questioning as to why the site was being completely razed to ground. Everyone seemed to be doing their duty, everyone seems to have had enough of it, and of course the Prime minister is addressing the country tonight. I guess it’s time to move on.

Time to move on from the few insignificant women who started sitting on one side of a road in Delhi since 14th December, against a bill which they believed was against the basic idea of Indian Constitution. These women who rose from the dark chambers of their kitchens, from the taboo of Indian liberals, feminists, men, were able to hold their ground for 101 days. Some say it was one of the most successful occupy movement of 21st century.

Or do we have to give it some thought as to what it stood for and what it was able to do. To me personally, it defied the logic of the need for the educated class, the people in ivory towers of power to stand up for justice. For someone who chose to speak truth to power, it gave me a sense of hope, courage. This site was so many things to so many people, it was a symbol of resistance to the people who were going to be stateless, of power to the powerless, of reclaiming democracy to the ones who deprived of their rights for decades, of breaking myths about a community against which entire state missionary was working to prove that they were never truly Indian. It was an end to something spectacular which was never witnessed in the history of Independent India.

But their one thing which keeps ringing in my ears, can the falcon be caged? Can the idea of resistance be subjugated? Can the voice of the voiceless be smothered. Or is this idea going ignite in the minds of young and old the spirit to reclaim what is our, the park of Indian democracy.

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