Every year, some of the most courageous people from around the country are given National Bravery Awards. They are celebrated for putting their lives on the line, and for carrying out acts of daring and sheer nerve that inspire the rest of us to be better.
This year, they should introduce an additional segment as well – medals for those putting their all into protesting against the discriminatory and arbitrary policies of the government.
Remember the fierce woman who stood up and pointed a single finger at a group of lathi-wielding cops after they beat up her friend? That took guts.
It’s not easy to intimidate multiple policemen wearing helmets and riot gear, but somehow, she did it.
In Bengaluru, 101-year-old freedom fighter Harohalli Srinivasaiah Doreswamy sat on a Satyagraha hunger strike against the JNU attack.
Just imagine that – this is a man who was around and fighting against the British, and is now fighting against a similar form of divisive oppression. His perseverance is a true symbol of courage.
We also can’t ignore the contribution of the women of Shaheen Bagh, who have displayed grit, a resolution of steel, and sheer freaking will during the coldest of nights.
Their sit-ins have been consistent, peaceful, and accepting. They provide blankets, refreshments, and a voice to all people, day in and day out. Their contribution to this movement has become a focal point of the anti-CAA stir.
My absolute favourite photo from the protests-— Shachi Nelli (@nellipiercing) December 23, 2019
Strong resilient women filled with light fighting the cold dark forces of fascism to save this country.
Shaheen Bagh, Delhi.
(not sure who clicked it, but I’m ever so grateful, tag them if you find them) pic.twitter.com/prewxlSFZE
How about the 85-year-old Mrs. Kapoor, who attended an anti-CAA rally at Jantar Mantar holding a placard reading ‘I have seen the partition of my land, do not partition our hearts’.
Despite being physically bowed down by the ravages of time, this wheelchair-bound octogenarian still made it a point to be physically present at a rally. If something had gone wrong and a police attack had occurred, she would end up being among the first few victims, but she took that chance.
If anyone deserves a medal, it’s these folks. They’re out there in the toughest of times, fighting to make our collective future better. The least we can do is honour them, and of course supporting them and the movement doesn’t hurt either.