The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act was passed by the Parliament on December 11, 2019, and ever since then the country has erupted in protests. After this, there was a terrible clash between the students of Jamia Milia Islamia and the Delhi Police where we saw and heard gruesome tales of police brutality against students on the campus. This prompted the Shaheen Bagh protests--women and children took to the streets to show their dissent against the act and they sang a song of azadi unlike no other that inspired many Shaheen Baghs to emerge all over the country.
It's now been two months and the sit-in protest continues in Shaheen Bagh. When you visit Shaheen Bagh, women are sitting and educating each other with the problems of the NRC, CAA, and NPR. Lead primarily by women of all ages, Shaheen Bagh protestors have braved the cold winds, Delhi winters and even deadly bullets and have continued to resist. To pay a tribute to their courage and resilience, director Gitanjali Rao, whose past films have featured and won at the Cannes Film Festival made a short film on them.
The film begins with a group of few women with candles who open their eyes to fight against divisive politics. There's one, there's two and then there are a few more- women with infants in their arms ready to take on the entire system.
Iqbal Bano's rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz's poem Hum Dekhenge is interrupted by terrifying gunshots and the crowd disperses only to come back in solidarity even bigger than before and resist even harder. The film ends with Kanhiya Kumar's viral speech on calling for azadi.
It was released on Thursday, which also coincided with Faiz's birth anniversary. The song Hum Dekhenge has become the melody of the protests with people holding on to the belief that they too will see the day that the oppressors' thrones will shatter and the world will be shared by everyone.
Talking to Indian Express, Rao said, "This was the least I could do, as an artist to express my solidarity to those brave and persevering women who have been relentlessly and peacefully protesting for two months."
"The images are inspired by those very women as is the music. I wanted to simply show how powerful a silent protest can be and I think animation is the right medium to make people feel something along with think and question," the director added.
She finished by saying that this is just a small part of what she would like to do and if possible she would like to celebrate each and every one of those men and women protesting in Shaheen Bagh.
The powerful, gut-wrenching and inspiring film will give you goosebumps. Watch it here:
The Shaheen Bagh protest has crossed over 60 days and shows no signs of slowing down despite facing severe criticism by the ruling party. We salute the dadis and nanis of Shaheen Bagh, you're an inspiration to a generation. One last time- lazim hum bhi dekhenge.
Featured Image: Hindustan Times, YouTube
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