No Indian needs to be told that our democracy has been under lockdown for almost a year. The Covid-19 pandemic has only made it starkly visible. This political lockdown is mostly a product of the inability of the opposition parties to offer any resistance, leave alone an alternative narrative. Energised by its electoral success, the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah regime is seeking to build a political universe of perpetual photo-ops, lubricated by sycophantic praise, with no trace of the constructive friction that principled dissent produces in a true democracy.

This project has almost succeeded. The metaphorical Ashvamedh horse sent forth by this regime has trotted unchallenged throughout the realm with only two exceptions. One of these spaces of resistance is the university campus, and the other is a political movement – the campaign against the Citizenship Amendment Act and its complement, the proposed National Register of Citizens.

Pandemic conditions may have forced it to fade from public memory, but the political significance of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act movement cannot be exaggerated. At a time when Modi and Shah believed that they had no worlds left to conquer, a challenge suddenly emerged from the unlikeliest of sources – Muslim women.

Unflagging moral stamina

This unique movement – symbolised by...

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