BANGALORE: Women in Bangalore have begun an indefinite sit-in against the Citizenship Amendment Act and political developments that surround it.

Inspired by Shaheen Bagh, these women sit on Mosque Road chanting slogans and singing songs of freedom. The protest, largely organised by women and students, commenced at 3 p.m. on January 23 and has been on since. Sheema Mohsim, the National General Secretary of the Welfare Party of India said, “We had hope in the Supreme Court. We thought that they would uphold the constitution, but even they did not take into account the number of people protesting on the streets. Despite all the dissent, the Home Minister has recently stated that they wouldn’t even budge an inch. This is a democratic country. We elect our representatives, and make sure we are given a good governance but when the law is misused, resistance becomes our only way to put pressure on the government to listen to our voices”

Nida Khan, a woman in technology, said, “Muslim women are always seen as a subjugated category of women. This is an eye-opener; to tell everyone that we are at the forefront now. It is to tell them that women are the driving force. We are reclaiming our voices in the public sphere. This is to reassure all women that your voices are heard and that matter. All marginalized people are going to be affected with these laws. But we are here for a more inclusive CAA. No one here, or anywhere, is for exclusion.”

“I have been listening and seeing the news about Shaheen Bagh and various other Shaheen Baghs that have originated around the country. Today for the first time I am witnessing their dedication and the power it has. These women have come out in streets shouting slogans of azaadi and justice. It is time that government listens to them.They are not going to leave until they are heard,” said Shivangi Pant, a student of Srishti School of Art Design and Technology

Another student from the same institution, Srishti Srivastava said, “As a representative of the country, the government needs to listen to the people's voices, and listen to their concerns. By labelling us as uninformed, our legitimate concerns are being discarded. By relying on whataboutism, the current government is washing off the drastic wrongs they have carried out in the name of their ideologies. Even those who did not vote for the government need to be taken care of, and not persecuted. Listen to the voices of these women who left their houses and came onto the streets at night, with their children, who need to feel proud about the country they are going to inherit.”

Syeda Tahera, a 13-year-old protestor, said “When I’m at the stage or at a protest, I feel immensely proud of the women. I feel like we’re empowering people who cannot be here. I want every unjust leader to know that this discrimination that they’re trying to use against us wouldn’t work. What works in my India, what works in our India is the constitution, and the constitution only.”

Through the last few days, the protest has been characterised by beautiful incidents of patriotism - involving not just the women, but their children and also the men in their lives. The men stood across the road in solidarity.

The men and students who weren’t a part of the sit-in protest, did their bit by making art and posters to fill up an entire wall nearby.