Lucknow, Jan 20, 2020 –
It was a 35-year-old housewife who triggered off the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests at the Clock Tower in Lucknow.
Qausar Imran, 35, was watching the Shaheen Bagh protests on the TV on Thursday night and while discussing the issue with her husband over dinner, her husband told her that the women in Shaheen Bagh were very much like her.
“I thought that I should also do something like this and my husband supported me. That night, my three children, aged six, eight and 13, and my niece who is 24 sat up with me all night making posters,” said Qausar, who has received formal schooling only till class 5.
A resident of Turiaganj, Qausar had never attended a protest or a meeting even with other women in the locality.
On Friday morning, the 35-year-old housewife and her children went from door-to-door, asking women to initiate a protest on the lines of Shaheen Bagh.
“We had made posters which read ‘we reject CAA, no NRC’ and ‘we are Indians’ and we came here after Friday prayers, around 2.30 p.m. We decided to start the protest even though barely 15 women including children had turned up. We hid the posters under our burqa and the moment we took the posters out, the cops came running,” said Safia, the 24-year-old niece of Qausar.
“I told them that they can tape my mouth and or beat me up but I will not move from the spot. When they told me that I had no permission to protest, I said that I was not creating any ruckus. The electricity supply was snapped in the area that night, but even my youngest child did not cry or ask to go home. We sat there undeterred. Now, I feel overwhelmed by sheer number of women sitting with us,” said Qausar.
Since Friday night, the numbers started swelling and there are now hundreds of women and children at the Clock Tower.
“There are now men and women from non-Muslim families who have joined us. People are coming to serve tea and snacks and some are even bringing food for us. The police are trying to move us, but the women seem stronger than men this time,” she said on Monday morning.
College-going boys and girls are bringing more posters that are being displayed at the protest site and media coverage is also increasing by the day. (Agency)