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Photographer: Javed Javed
Exhibit Title: Shaheen Bagh
On December 10, 2019, the Indian parliament passed the 'Citizenship Amendment Act' that made religion a criterion for giving citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from the three neighboring countries of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. The government also announced that a National Register of Citizens (NRC) will be made to identify illegal immigrants in the country. The laws were widely criticized as being anti-constitutional.
Women from an adjoining Muslim residential area, Shaheen Bagh in South East Delhi, staged a twenty-four-hour sit-in protest, blocking a national highway and demanded that the CAA and NRC be repealed. Soon, the sit-in protest model was replicated across India, and women in large numbers staged similar demonstrations across India. The women of Shaheen Bagh became the torch bearers of resistance and the voice of the marginalized, invoking the spirit of democracy.
Over sixty-five people died and many protestors, students, activists involved in the protests booked under the (Unlawful Activity Prevention Act), an anti-terrorism law in police action during the hundred-day protests that ended with the COVID19 lockdown in March 2019.
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