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September 24, 2020

Time magazine list: Shaheen Bagh protester dadi among 100 most influential people

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September 24, 2020

NEW YORK: An 82-year-old woman who became the face of the Shaheen Bagh protests in Delhi is among those on TIME magazine's list of 100 "Most Influential People of 2020".

The annual list features pioneers, artists, titans, leaders and icons from around the "who have had the most impact this year".

Delhi's Shaheen Bagh became the heart of protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA as hundreds of people - mostly women - braved Delhi’s winter for over 100 days and sat on the road in protest. Bilkis is among those better known as the ‘Dadis (Grandmothers) of Shaheen Bagh’ and had led the protests from the front, shedding the comfort of their homes. The elderly women were accorded a prominent space in the front row on each day of the protests. The profile of Bilkis in the TIME magazine list, written by journalist and writer Rana Ayyub, says she “became the voice of the marginalised in India”. “With prayer beads in one hand and the national flag in the other, Bilkis became the voice of the marginalized in India, an 82-year-old who would sit at a protest site from 8 a.m. to midnight (sic),” it says. “Look at the protest where we are. It is not that only Muslims are protesting. Come and see how many people are distributing food. They are from all religions. Someone is giving us bananas, some giving us juice and biscuits,” Bilkis had told the media in January. The others featured on the magazine’s list include Chinese President Xi Jinping, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and US President Donald Trump.