New Delhi: Bilkis Bano, the 82-year-old who earned the moniker “Dadi of Shaheen Bagh” during the long protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in the national capital has now been named among the 100-most influential global personalities by Time magazine.
“I am very happy that I was honoured in this manner. Although I did not expect this.” said the grandmother speaking to ANI after the recognition.
Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, the heart of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, had received worldwide attention after the citizenship law cleared the parliament last year. Most of the protesters participating in the sit-in, which continued till late-March, were women. Recalling the struggle of the protesters, Bilkis, a.k.a “Dadi of Shaheen Bagh”, told news agency ANI: “We continued our sit-in even as it rained or mercury dropped or temperature shot up. We had been sitting ever since our kids were thrashed in Jamia. Shots were fired in front of us, yet nothing deterred us.”
“I have read only the Quran Sharif and I have never been to school but today I feel excited and happy. I congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi for also being included in this list. He is also my son. So what if I did not give birth to him, my sister has given birth to him. I pray for his long life and happiness,” Bilkis Bano said.
Bilkis Dadi, who along with two other grandmothers emerged as the face of NRC-CAA protest, hails from Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. Her husband died about eleven years ago and she currently lives in Shaheen Bagh with her daughters-in-law and grandchildren.
On being asked about India’s fight against COVID-19, she said: “Our first fight is against coronavirus. The disease should be eliminated from the world.”
The family of Bilkis Dadi also expressed their excitement on her being recognised among the world’s most influential people including Prime Minister Modi.
Along with Bilkis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, actor Ayushman Khurrana, biologist Ravindra Gupta and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai were on the list of ‘100 Most Influential People of 2020’ that was released on Wednesday and features pioneers, artists, leaders, icons and titans who have had the most impact in 2020