There are moments in every event, that make it or break it, or change its course in a way which maybe be both visible and invisible. When actor Deepika Padukone walked into the JNU campus to show solidarity and stood quietly behind JNUSU president Aishe Ghosh, it was one of those moments. Padukone, who is known to rarely take a political stand did just that while many men from her fraternity, who wield more power than her, are bidding their time, waiting for this phase of unrest to pass. She isn’t alone though, as other A-list women actors like Sonakshi Sinha and Sonam Kapoor have also extended their support to the JNU students.

Whether at protests against CAA and NRC, police brutality in Jamia Millia or the violence in JNU now, it is Indian women across age groups and socio-economic or religious barriers, who are leading the course of this dissent.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Women have been leading on all fronts of the ongoing protests in India.
  • Be it students, mothers, actors or social media influencers, women are guiding the course of dissent.
  • The Indian woman has realised that if she wants a change, she needs to roll up her sleeves and usher it in herself.
  • Our voice is way more relevant than we give it credit.

Deepika Padukone, who is rarely known to be political took a stand while many men from her fraternity, who wield more power than her, are bidding their time, waiting for this phase of unrest to pass on.

Be it on the digital forefront or on the streets, the voice of the Indian woman is echoing everywhere today. It is loud and clear and it knows what it wants. She is Ladeeda Shakhloon and Ayesha Reena, who stand in front of a male colleague to protect him from violence. She is every woman of Shaheen Bagh, who is peacefully protesting against NRC-CAA, some carrying their young children, while others making sure that their voice is not lost in the din of vote bank politics. She is Swara Bhasker, who doesn’t let incessant and vulgar trolling that she encounters every single day deter her from speaking up against the authorities and the government. She is Aishe Ghosh, who partakes in protests with her hand in a cast, despite having 16 stitches on her head.

Also Read: Won’t Ask My Daughter To Back Out Of Protests: Aishe Ghosh’s Mother

But not just these prominent women, she is also every mother, every student, every protester who refuses to sit on the fence now. She is past being angry and bewildered and knows that it is time to act. In a country where she is treated as the secondary gender, expected to be demure and obedient, her taking a stand sends out a much larger message of dissent. The Indian woman has realised that if she wants a change, she needs to roll up her sleeves and usher it in herself. She now seeks and provides support to women around her, realising that she isn’t alone in this rebellion. Perhaps she knows that a lot more is at stake for women if we move towards a more controlling system/culture where it is a grave risk to even speak up.

The biggest lesson that these women championing dissent have given each one of us is that our voice is way more relevant than we give it credit. It matters in every conversation that we are part of, and those that we aren’t.

You can be her too, even if you cannot step out into the street right now. Why not lead the conversation on issues like CAA-NRC or student clashes at home? Don’t be afraid to voice an opinion that might earn you a frown. This is your country too, and its future belongs to you. You deserve to raise your voice, to protest, to show concern, to shut down those spreading false information, or using misogyny and objectification as means to win arguments.

Also Read: I Went To A Protest For The First Time And This Is What I’ve Learned

So, stand by your sisters or stand out alone. The biggest lesson that these women championing dissent have given each one of us is that our voice is way more relevant than we give it credit. It matters in every conversation that we are part of, and those that we aren’t. So, you might as well raise it.

Picture Credit: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

The views expressed are the author’s own.

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