PROTESTS

India’s Anti-CAA Protesters Are Sending Postcards to PM Modi Inviting Him to Join Them for Tea

As protests continue beyond a month, the women of Shaheen Bagh wrote thousands of postcards to Modi to urge him to listen to their ‘mann ki baat’.

by Naarad
20 January 2020, 10:17am

On Saturday, the women of Shaheen Bagh wrote postcards to PM Modi, asking him to join them over tea

‘I, Noor Aisha, am an Indian citizen. Did you ask our ancestors for identity proof when they were fighting for Indian independence? So, why do I have to prove my citizenship now?’ This is what’s on one of the many postcards being mailed to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence: 7, Race Course Road, New Delhi. Another reads: ‘Mr. Modi, why do you think we will be scared of storms? We are habituated to peddle boats in typhoons.’

Shaheen Bagh—one of the most important protest sites that has come up to object the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and where women have been at the forefront of an indefinite sit-in that started a month ago—saw the protesters send thousands of letters to Modi on Saturday, January 18. Through these, the women invited the PM to join them for tea, listen to their ‘Mann ki Baat’ (contextually translates as ‘straight from the heart’ but is also the name of Modi’s radio programme) and indulge in ‘chai pe charcha’ (‘conversations over tea’ but also the name of Modi’s 2014 election campaign). Modi, who had participated in several Chai Pe Charcha events during the 2014 election campaign to underline his humble beginnings as a tea seller, has been largely silent on the protests that have been raging across the country since over a month.

1579514515389-IMG_20200118_180637_Bokeh-01
Since over a month, hundreds of women have braved the biting cold to protest the CAA at Shaheen Bagh

As part of the campaign #TumKabAaoge (‘when will you come’) run by Friends of Shaheen Bagh— an informal group of young activists and artists—the men, women and children of the area on New Delhi’s border with Noida pushed for a dialogue between the government and anti-CAA protestors with these postcards written in English, Hindi and Urdu.

1579514543821-IMG_20200118_183615-01
A protester at Shaheen Bagh holds up the postcard she's written
1579514592915-IMG_20200118_182748
Art has been at the forefront of the anti-CAA messaging
1579514700558-IMG_20200118_174936-01
The letter translates to: 'Assalamualaikum, today is the 35th day the women of Shaheen Bagh have been dissenting here, but not a lice is moved on your ears'
1579514848782-IMG_20200118_201545-01
The collected postcards are going to be mailed to PM Modi's residence. More of these events are planned for the weeks ahead.

Follow VICE on Instagram.