Unafraid: The Day Young Womenof Jamia Took the Battle to the Streets

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The sight of state violence on the bodies of our young women and men, the sting of tear gas and the sounds of rampaging policepersons in the library and on campus grounds at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi on 13, 15 and 19 December 2019, shocked citizens across India. Unafraid records the testimonies of the women who were at ground zero on those days and experienced first-hand the State-sanctioned, violent attempts of the police to crush student-led protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, the National Population Register (NPR) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Why did we record testimonies of these women? Because they were there in numbers that belied their social and political power. Because the timbre of their voices soared above the norm. Because they fought the odds to be there. Because each time they climbed a police barricade, they climbed a mountain, and were much the stronger for it. State suppression has now galvanized lakhs of women, men and young people across the length and breadth of India, to save their country from becoming a land of bigotry and compromised citizenship. After all democracy is merely half full without women, and women’s voices matter as much in any resistance.

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