Spirit of Shaheen Bagh

What started off as peaceful protests at Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, mostly by women, are now being used as a tool by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to consolidate the majority community’s vote. Moreover, children are needlessly getting dragged into the issue. Hence, it could be in the protesters’ interests to halt the demonstrations for now (Op-Ed page, “It’s time for the Shaheen Bagh protests to end,” Feb. 3). It is to be noted that had the Supreme Court ordered a stay on the CAA, the protests would have ended by now.

N. Nagarajan,


It is the right time for the organisers of Shaheen Bagh protests to call them off forthwith as the time factor is defeating its very purpose. The prolonged blocking of roads, instead of gaining more sympathisers, could be infusing more hostility among the local population. Any protest movement should be a time-bound one and it loses its appeal if it gets stretched beyond a limited time. The historic movement has served its purpose by drawing attention at national as well as international levels. But it is unfortunately now also serving the cause of the BJP.

A.G. Rajmohan,

Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh

It would be a mistake to conflate Shaheen Bagh protests with the Delhi election. The valiant women at Shaheen Bagh never picketed with any election in their mind. Their sole objective was to display a rejection of the discriminatory CAA-NRC mechanism. They left their homes in national interest to defend India’s cherished Constitution, with bare and limited resources. Wrapping up the protests at this juncture would only serve the goals of communal elements and show that their threats and intimidation tactics have been successful. It would also create an adverse ripple effect as more than 75 sit-ins across the country have taken inspiration from the movement. True, the protests have caused some inconvenience to the common public. But when democracy is under maintenance, temporary discomfort is not just acceptable, it could also be desirable.

Mohammad Shah Fahad,


Union Minister Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad struck the right note when he declared that the government is ready to talk to protesters at Shaheen Bagh. Vitriolic rhetoric from BJP leaders has directly incited violence as lone-wolf attackers are now targeting peaceful protesters. The Centre’s very despicable tendency to label anti-CAA protesters as ‘anti-nationals’ and crushing dissent through force does not augur well for a country like us which stands proud among the comity of nations owing to its vibrant democratic framework. It is time the BJP government acknowledges and respects peaceful protests against CAA as an expression of dissent and initiates dialogue with protesters to address their legitimate apprehensions without any delay.

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu


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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 1:17:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/spirit-of-shaheen-bagh/article30729349.ece

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