Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress who plays ‘Wonder Woman’ in the movie adaptation of the popular DC Comics character, is in the limelight of the Indian media space not for her movie, but for sharing the picture of Shaheen Bagh’s Bilkis Bano as one of the women whom she draws inspiration from.
Gadot shared a picture of Bilkis Bano and wrote, “Bilkis. This 82-year-old activist fighting for women’s equality in India showed me it’s never too late to fight for what you believe in.”
This triggered a backlash from Indian social media users who criticised the Israeli actor for posting misleading information about Bilkis Bano and wrongly attributing her for fighting for women’s equality. They informed her that far from championing the cause of women, Bilkis Bano was involved in the protests that opposed the Indian government’s decision to expedite the citizenship of refugees who have been facing religious persecution and genocide in India’s neighbouring Islamic majority nations. Shortly thereafter, the story was deleted by Gadot but it remains in her Instagram photos.
Gal Gadot to feature in a movie with controversial Indian actor Ali Fazal
Gal Gadot’s post on Bilkis Bano has left many wondering as to what got the actor into falsely claiming the octogenarian woman as an ‘activist fighting for women’s equality’. Many have pointed out to the actor’s professional association with the controversial Indian actor Ali Fazal, who had celebrated violence that was unleashed in the aftermath of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in December 2019.
Fazal is all set to share the screen with the ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile”. The film is a follow-up to the studio’s 2017 blockbuster “Murder on the Orient Express” that starred Hollywood actor Johnny Depp and was also an adaptation of Christie’s novel of the same name. The movie is going to be directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also presided over the first part and will play the role of the moustachioed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.
It is being alleged that Bano’s inclusion in the Israeli actor’s list of “personal wonder women” may have been inspired from her co-actor, Ali Fazal, who has not shied away from extending his support to anti-CAA rabble-rousers. In the wake of the violence, stone pelting, vandalism and incidents of arson reported from many parts of the country following the enactment of the CAA in December 2019, Fazal had posted a tweet on the anti-CAA riots saying that he was enjoying it all.
Many prominent personalities had come in support of the anti-CAA protests, including the opposition political parties, thereby emboldening the demonstrators to continue their protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act. The protests continued for several months in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and eventually culminated in the horrifying Northeast Delhi riots that shook the national capital.
Bilkis was not fighting for women’s rights, she wanted persecuted non-Muslims in Islamic nations to be left to die
Bilkis, who was featured in the list of top 100 influential people of 2020 in Times Magazine, was recently seen at farmers’ protests gaining some more footage for herself. Her presence had brought back the grim memories of the Shaheen Bagh protests, where Islamists sat on a so-called ‘protest’ beginning in December last year, against the Citizenship Amendment Act.
Bilkis along with the protestors had blocked a major highway and caused traffic disruptions for months. She was one of the leading ‘protestors’ at Shaheen Bagh against the humanitarian Citizenship Amendment Act. The sit-in protests disrupted the lives of the people of Delhi. Shaheen Bagh, the mecca of anti-CAA protests, was one of the major reasons that led to the worst anti-Hindu riots in recent history. Women like her were used as a shield at the sit-in protests. Anti-India slogans had attracted separatists from all over India and provided cover for the radicals and extremists. In the end, the riots happened and many including Dilber Singh Negi, IB officer Ankit Sharma and others were killed mercilessly.
Moreover, the anti-CAA protestors were essentially opposing the Indian government’s decision to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities in the three neighbouring Islamic nations, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in these nations are facing genocide. They are killed, kidnapped and raped every day. But the so-called ‘protestors’ saw the humanitarian law as “anti-Muslim”. Bilkis Bano of Shaheen Bagh was the face of such an Islamic movement that wanted the persecuted non-Muslims to be left to be killed.