The BJP is now scared of the same women it claimed to have the support of when it banned triple talaq, a women’s rights activist told a gathering of over 200 women at Kidderpore’s Nawab Ali Park on Tuesday evening.
The women, some of them elderly and some with babies in their arms, have been sitting on mats spread out on the ground for 10 days to protest the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“The BJP said it is protecting Muslim women from Muslim men and the triple talaq and so these women are with them. They said they are protecting Hindu women from Muslim men and the ‘love jihad’ and so these women are with them. So, why are you now so scared of the women who you said were with you?” asked Kavita Krishnan, the secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association.
“From the grandmother to the young girl, everyone is out on the street for this revolution and that is what Modi and Amit Shah are scared of,” said Krishnan to a round of applause from the audience.
Krishnan urged the women not to lose heart but be firm even if the court ruling went against them. “Now that we are out on the street, no one should be able to remove us. We will be, if not here then somewhere else or protest in some other form. If we are out on the street to save the country, we will do so,” she said.
“The government has power, lathi and lies and poison… but we have the truth, the Constitution and the streets of our country that we will not leave,” she said.
Krishnan’s address, which went on for more than 50 minutes, left the women firmer in their decision to raise their voice against CAA and NRC and walk on the streets.
A 33-year-old woman’s bedridden mother-in-law wanted her to go out and speak up. “I gave her food and medicines and she told me to go out because that is more important than anything else now. I come here every day because it is the need of the hour,” said Shaheen Khatoon.
A 24-year-old student, Aiysha Khan, joined the sit-in on the 10th day, after her semester exams ended.
“The authorities cannot leave out people of one religion… I have all my papers. But I am here because of the many who don’t.”