India Reads, India Resists

"Books give us the courage to raise questions. Our protest only becomes stronger by reading." says Mohammad Asif, a student of Aligarh Muslim University, and one of the founders of the unique library at the Shaheen Bagh protest site in Delhi.

Shaheen Bagh has been protesting against the CAA for the last three months. Fatima Sheikh-Savitri Bai Phule Library, just about 50 metres from the main protest site of Shaheen Bagh, is giving protesters another way to register their stir apart from sloganeering. People of different ages, some reading, some taking notes from specific books, and others running their eyes through the covers of the books that are displayed at Shaheen Bagh’s bus stand-turned-library.

It was January 17, 2020, the death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, when the organisers brought in their own books — a bunch of 30-35 — and placed them on display at the Shaheen Bagh bus stand under the banner of Fatima Sheikh-Savitribai Phule Library. A placard asking people to ‘donate books’ and a Facebook page have however helped surge the number of books to more than 500. Listen to the inspiring voices from Fatima Sheikh – Savitribai Phule Library at Shaheen Bagh.

First published in Newsclick. Video courtesy Karwan-e-Mohabbat.