Books and Documents

Islam and Politics (04 Feb 2020 NewAgeIslam.Com)

For the Shaheen Bagh It Is Time Now To End the Protest

By Mohammed Ayoob

3 Feb 2020

The protesters at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi have made their point. The picketers, primarily Muslim women of the area, have demonstrated their resolve to stand up not just for the rights of the Muslim minority but, more importantly, for the secular spirit of the Constitution. Waving the national flag, carrying photos of Mahatma Gandhi and B.R. Ambedkar, and reciting the words of the Constitution’s Preamble, they have challenged the government’s narrative that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was merely an attempt to fulfil Gandhi’s wishes. The Shaheen Bagh protests will become a part of both the history of India’s democratic movements and of the chronicle of women’s empowerment.


Shaheen Bagh Protest against CAA, NPR and NRC


 However, there is a time when protest movements become counterproductive and the organisers and participants of such movements should have the sagacity to recognise this fact. For the Shaheen Bagh protesters that time is now. The principal reason for this conclusion is that with the Delhi Assembly elections around the corner, they have increasingly become pawns in the electoral game being played in the national capital.

The Wrong Message

It was a fundamental mistake on the part of the protest’s organisers to allow leaders of political parties to use their platform to make speeches that not only served partisan ends but also were unnecessarily provocative and sometimes uncivil. This combined with extremist pronouncements by some of the people, such as Sharjeel Imam, associated with the protests have sent the wrong message that the protests were not only undertaken for partisan reasons but had also fallen into the hands of extremist elements. The shutting down of one of the main roads in the area for a long time added to the negative image of the protests around Delhi.

Moreover, there have been two shooting incidents near the protest venue. Although no one has been killed, there is no guarantee that the next one may not inflict grave injuries or cause fatalities. While the protesters are not involved in such incidents, many hold them responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation. With the U.P. Chief Minister’s entry into the Delhi electoral fray and his incendiary speeches, and the Hindu Sena’s threat that it will clear Shaheen Bagh by force, the situation is becoming volatile. The Shaheen Bagh protesters will be blamed if this escalating inflammatory rhetoric leads to a communal riot.

Many Negative Consequences

The protesters must recognise that all this serves the interests of both the Congress and the BJP. For the Congress, which is in the doldrums in Delhi, the protest is an invaluable stick to beat both the BJP, which is adamant that the CAA must be implemented, and the Aam Aadmi Party, which has been talking out of both sides of its mouth regarding the Shaheen Bagh protests and the CAA. But the greatest beneficiary of the continuing protests is the BJP. The protests help the party consolidate the Hindu vote behind it and allow it to paint the AAP and the Congress as anti-Hindu. This is why the Central government has allowed the protests to continue without interference by the Delhi police.

Therefore, it is time for the protesters to recognise that their actions are leading to far more negative outcomes than positive ones. The entire exercise has outlived its usefulness. It is time for them to wind up their sit in after issuing a statement that the protest has achieved its objective: they have squarely registered their dissent against the CAA and successfully linked the discussion of the CAA with the National Register of Citizens. They should learn from the Mahatma who did not desist from calling off protest movements when he recognised that they had outlasted their effectiveness. The termination of the Shaheen Bagh sit-in does not preclude the fact that those opposed to the CAA and NRC may continue protesting in a fresh mould free of political capture attempts after the Delhi elections are concluded.

Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of International Relations, Michigan State University

Original Headline: It’s time for the Shaheen Bagh protests to end

Source: The Hindu Daily

URL: https://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/mohammed-ayoob/for-the-shaheen-bagh-it-is-time-now-to-end-the-protest/d/120972


  • The readers ,contributors and Admins are in favour of  granting citizenship to Muslims who have moved to India. However I want to know some information . How is the life of a Pak.Hindu ? What are special grants schemes provided to Pak Hindu Minorities ?  Can they be compared with Indian Minorities when it comes to state support ? Can anyone throw light on Life of Minorites ? in Pakistian.

    By Dr.A.Anburaj - 2/7/2020 1:15:07 AM

  • Mr Ghulam Mohyuddin first decide you want Dara Siko or Aurngzeb,
    Because B R Ambedkar was pure hater of Ghandhi. And Ghandhi was 100% Santani approving Manusmruti.
    What you want to choose or Just want to fool Hindus, best suits you to go and join Shaheen Bag as hypocrates are their who want hold, Dara Siko, Aruangzeb, B R Ambedkar and Ghandhi all different polaric thought view hate everything and praise everything, confused people are their in Shahinbag

    By Aayina - 2/4/2020 11:38:05 PM

  • BJP misusing NIA, CBI, ED, courts for showbiz agenda.
    By SatishB - 2/4/2020 9:43:59 PM

  • india is well on its way to a process of pakistanization. now soon we will also have blasphemy laws, killing for apstasy and all other sterling qualities of pakistan.
    it will take at least two generations before people realize that this is sheer folly.
    we have to get those 70,000 scapegoats ready.

    By hats off! - 2/4/2020 3:52:58 PM

  •  The battle is to reclaim the national flag, Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar, and the words of the Constitution’s Preamble. It should go on.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 2/4/2020 11:31:52 AM

  • It is a very long battle. The BJP Govt. will play hide and seek. Their statements can not be believed. The idea of NPR/NRC is to harass the poor and marginalized, especially among Muslims. The purpose is to win 2024 elections without delivering on economy, education, health etc. by polarizing the poor between Hindu-Muslim.
    By Ashok Sharma - 2/4/2020 7:59:19 AM

  • Mr Ayoob means that protesters should end their protests because goons are firing at them. The freedom fighters should not have fought the British because the British were killing them. He does not realise that formal protests have no meaning for this government. And formal protests won't stall NRC which will render the people homeless. Md Ayoob does not see what's happening to the people of Assam. He is a pseudo intellectual bei g used by government to write such articles. I condemn his views which reflect the views of ruling party politicians.The objective of the protests is to get the black laws repealed. So the objective has not been achieved. How could this piece full of absurdities be published in a national daily and digested by NAI?
    By Arshad - 2/4/2020 6:27:31 AM

Compose Your Comments here:
Email (Not to be published)
Fill the text
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the articles and comments are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect that of NewAgeIslam.com.