New Delhi: The protests against lynching of Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow slaughter and other fictitious issues was held across the country on Wednesday. The ‘Not In My Name’ protest that was originally to be held only in New Delhi at iconic Jantar Mantar was held simultaneously in as many as a dozen cities including Delhi, Bangalore, Patna, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.
The trigger of the protest was the daylight lynching of 16-year old boy Junaid and attack against his brothers for wearing Muslim skullcap and being ‘beef-eaters’. The young boy who was going back to his home in a local train after shopping for Eid was stabbed to death in front of a large number of travelers. While lynching was reprehensible, what was more surprising was the approval of the fellow passengers, who neither opposed the killing of a hapless boy and attack on his relatives who were on fast, nor raised an alarm.
Such cases are being reported with increasing frequency across the country. On the second day of Eid, a dairy owner in Jharkhand was attacked, his dairy and home burnt to ashes and he could be barely saved. He is still struggling for his life in a hospital, while his family has been moved to a safer place.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s ‘Not in My Name’ protest drew a huge crowd in New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, despite persistent rains that continued throughout the day. This showed that people in the country are not going to be the mute spectator in the eye of attack on its secular fabric and human rights violations.
The good thing about the protest was that almost all the secular forces were present on the occasion without having the name of any political party. The protest was helmed by Gurgaon-based filmmaker Saba Dewan who gave out the rallying cry. In a Facebook post, Dewan called out for the outpouring of public conscience. “Shouldn’t there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder yesterday in Delhi NCR by a mob of a 16-year-old Muslim boy? If not now then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration? Why can’t all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner – Not in my Name,” said Devan.
(Photos by Vidya Bhushan Rawat)