#TumKabAaoge: Shaheen Bagh women invite PM Modi for a ‘chai pe charcha’
Postcards carrying an invitation, written in English, Hindi and Urdu, are being sent out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, inviting him for a meeting with the protesting women of Shaheen Bagh
Postcards are being sent by the women protestors of Shaheen Bagh to the Prime Minister, inviting him for a dialogue, a ‘ Chai pe Charcha’ to listen to their Mann Ki Baat.
The women , hundreds of them, have been camping at Shaheen Bagh in the national capital for over a month, protesting against the Government’s move to prepare a National Population Register, a first step to the National Register of Indian Citizens. Their main demand, however, is to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019, which for the first time links grant of citizenship with religion.
Nobody from the Government, neither ministers nor any other senior officer, has so far cared to discuss the issues with the women or try to dispel their apprehension. BJP lawmakers or even the RSS affiliated Rashtriya Muslim Manch have been conspicuous by their absence.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed hundreds of ‘ Chai Pe Charcha’ in the run up to his campaign in the 2014 election to attack the then UPA Government. But since becoming the Prime Minister in 2014, he has neither addressed any unscripted press conference nor appeared among the people to directly answer their questions.
If the PM accepts the invitation, it could well be a PR coup. And he can, theoretically, turn the narrative around with his persuasive and oratorial skills. But given his conduct in recent years, such a possibility appears remote.
The women of Shaheen Bagh have been sitting under a canopy for a month protest against the amended Citizenship Act, invited India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18, Saturday over a cup of tea and urge him to listen to their ‘Mann ki Baat’.
The women at Shaheen Bagh have braved the coldest winter in several decades while staging the protest at the cost of their sleep, privacy and safety besides their normal life. But despite the threat of police action, possibility of intervention by the judiciary, a hostile campaign against them on TV channels and betting trolled on social media and accused of staging the protest for money, the indomitable women have taken everything in their stride.
They have extended the invitation for a dialogue to the leader of the world's largest democracy.
Will he come?