Bilkis Bano, the elderly woman who became the face of the months-long anti-citizenship law protest in the national capital's Shaheen Bagh, was stopped and detained by Delhi Police from participating in the ongoing farmers' agitation against the Centre's new farm laws on Tuesday, December 1.
"We are daughters of farmers, we'll go to support farmers' protest today. We will raise our voice, the government should listen to us," Bano said as she headed to the Delhi-Haryana border to join the farmers' protests.
Bano says that her message to the agitating farmers is: "Raise your voice, the government will have to listen to you".
Bano was, however, detained by the Delhi Police at the Singhu Border before she could join the protest. The police later said that Bano is a senior citizen and was stopped from reaching the protest site for her own safety amid the pandemic. She was later escorted by the police back to her home in southeast Delhi.
Bilkis Dadi shot to fame during the protests in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Her courage inspired thousands across the country who carried on the anti-CAA protests for months.
During the protest, Bano, along with her two friends Asma Khatoon (90) and Sarwari (75), sat in a tent at the anti-CAA protest site every day, braving a chilly winter in December 2019. The trio was hailed as "Dadis of Shaheen Bagh" on social media.
The 82-year-old woman has received immense hatred for participating in the Shaheen Bagh protests and for being seen among the agitating farmers recently. She has also been recognised as a 'sympathiser of anti-India forces' by Zee News.
Women like Bilkis Bano were used as the shield while the sit-in protests fuelled anti-India sentiments, invited secessionist and separatist voices from all over India and provided cover for the radicalisation and mobilisation that eventually led to the Delhi Riots, OpIndia reported.
Netizens have also vilified Bilkis Dadi and called her out for protesting.
While some came out in her support and called her a symbol of women empowerment, others mocked her for participating in every protest.
Actress Kangana Ranaut, in a tweet, also claimed that Bilkis Bano was available for hire to make an appearance in protests for Rs 100.
"Ha ha ha, she is the same dadi who featured in Time magazine for being the most powerful Indian... And she is available in 100 rupees. Pakistani journos have hijacked international PR for India in an embarrassing way. We need our own people to speak for us internationally," Ranaut tweeted.
At the peak of the Shaheen Bah protest last year, Bilkis Bano was recognised by the Time magazine one of the 100 most influential people of 2020. Recently, she was also among the Indians listed in BBC's 100 Inspiring and Influential Women of 2020.