With a sad heart, I bring to you some news today. Recently, my country witnessed a spate of public lynching taking place in various cities.
Yes, you heard me right. Lynching. No, I’m still talking about 2017. Yes, we still claim to be a civilised society.
I believe these instances are nothing short of state-sponsored terrorism giving rise to religious fanaticism in the name of nationalism and hindutva. I can only hope the secular nature of our democracy will soon see this “trend” ebbing away.
Meanwhile, our brethren are getting brutally slaughtered, for lack of a better term, right, left and centre (not alluding to political wings here, but you’re free to interpret).
In the midst of such godlessness, because no one can tell me this is being done in god’s name, the most recent instance has been particularly heart wrenching.
Junaid, a young teenager, was publicly lynched while returning home after shopping for Eid. A mob (of people? Or demons, I think) suspected he was carrying beef and decided to end his life then and there. I am sorry, I do not have the heart to reproduce all the glory details here.
However, I see a sliver of hope for us yet.
A facebook post, by filmmaker Saba Dewan, against this lynching has spurred a powerful online campaign with thousands of citizens pledging to hit the streets in protest.
On 28 June, citizens’ protests will simultaneously take place in the cities of Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Thiruvananthapuram and Bengaluru under the banner “Not in My Name”.
The people of India have decided they’ve had enough of the mob rule, and they will not condone such inhuman acts committed in their name anymore. They’ve decided to speak in one voice and let it be known that the right to life, personal liberty, freedom and equality are not mere words adorning our Constitution. They seek to reclaim the Constitution and to remind the country (and its leaders) that ours is indeed a secular democracy. Thus, no onslaught on our people in the name of religion shall be allowed any longer.
If you too have a conscience, a heart, a mind, a sense of right and wrong, a moral compass and a voice, join our people in this protest and bring your friends along. It is open to all citizens, there just isn’t any place for party/organisational banners though.
And if you’re coming, make sure to carry a banner stating “Not in My Name” as clear as clear can be.
(It is true that our government is blind, metaphorically, and our people are dumb, again metaphorically, it’s not unless we roar would they be able to hear us!)