Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood actor Ayushman Khurana, Professor of Clinical Microbiology Ravindra Gupta, and Google Chief Executive officer Sundar Pichai are four Indians who also made it to the list
Bilkis, an 82-year-old Indian woman who protested against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh neighbourhood, was among the Indians featured on the Time magazine list of “The 100 Most Influential People of 2020.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bollywood actor Ayushman Khurana, Professor of Clinical Microbiology Ravindra Gupta, and Google Chief Executive officer Sundar Pichai are four Indians who also made it to the list.
Bilkis, along with more than a thousand other women, became the symbol of resistance in a country where the “voices of women and minorities were being systematically drowned” by the Modi government, wrote journalist Rana Ayyub.
“Bilkis gave hope and strength to activists and student leaders who were being thrown behind bars for standing up for the unpopular truth in a democracy that was sliding into authoritarianism, and inspired peaceful copycat protests across the country,” Ayyub wrote.
Bilkis told her, “I will sit here till blood stops flowing in my veins so the children of this country and the world breathe the air of justice and equality.”
The Citizenship Amendment Act, approved by Parliament on December 11, provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
It has been widely criticized for excluding Muslims. Protests against the Act started in Delhi in mid-December and spread across the country.
Recently, the Delhi Police have alleged that organizers of the Shaheen Bagh protests also conspired to overthrow the government, and sparked the communal violence in the city which broke out in February. Many organizers and youth leaders involved in the protests are in police custody.