Shaheen” is the pseudonym of an academic who has published widely on issues related to Indian history and politics. The author’s most recent work on Hindutva politics has led some Hindutva extremists to issue death threats against the author’s person and wellbeing. As such, the author uses this pseudonym here to ensure the primacy of academic freedom, support an informed citizenry, and protect against the unfortunate reality of surveilling trolls. The author chose the name “Shaheen” for this essay to pay an homage to Muslim women in Shaheenbagh (Delhi) and all over India, who are currently resisting oppressive legislatures passed by the Indian government. The word “Shaheen,” which also means an eagle in Urdu, aptly captures the fierce and undaunting spirit of Muslim women in India. As the late South Asian Urdu writer, Allama Iqbal observed in his elegant poem, “Sitaron se agay Jahan aur bhi hain,” (‘Other worlds exist beyond the stars’), eagles are destined to soar high in the skies, not simply rest in a nestling place. For those of us resisting borders that ascribe our place, we soar above the limitations of nation-states that frame and restrict our humanity under our shared and unfathomably vast skies.

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