‘Not in My Name’: Countrywide Protests

Common citizens, intellectuals, film-makers, and journalists turned out in large numbers across the country on 28 June 2017 to protest against the spate of mob lynchings going on in the country under the campaign banner ‘Not in My Name’ and huge numbers of people have expressed their outrage through this hash-tag.

In Delhi, about 5,000 people gathered at Jantar Mantar with posters against mob lynching, many wearing black bands, demanding that the government should act against those responsible for the lynchings. They included large numbers of progressive left-leaning intellectuals. Women and youth also participated in large numbers. Sufi pop singer Rabbi Shergill and others inspired the gathering with songs of harmony and brotherhood. Prabhat Choudhury, Kavita Krishnan, Ravi Rai, Santosh Rai from CPI(ML), AISA. AIPWA, RYA and AICCTU activists participated in the protest. Speakers at the protest said that this is a welcome and inspiring start to what will surely be a flood of countrywide protests against lynching. Journalist Siddharth Varadarajan, Gurgaon trader Mohammad Alim, and common citizens said that the government must be held accountable for these lynchings and must take action against the culprits; human life cannot be held cheap while the cow is held sacred. Activist Shabnam Hashmi returned National Minority Rights award as a protest. Gurmehar Kaur said it all in a single line, “Civilized India has come out on the streets”. Rana Ayub held a telling poster which said, ‘Mother India is seen crying through the eyes of Junaid’s mother’.

Hundreds of people joined the protest in Bengaluru including historian Ramchandra Guha and actor-playwright Girish Karnad. Protests were held from 6 in the evening at Patna in which left-democratic forces and large numbers of Muslim students and youth participated. Com KD Yadav, Saroj Choube, Rajaram, Sudhir Suman, KK Pandey, Naveen Kumar, Kumar Parvez, Prakash Kumar, Mukhtar, Sudhir, Santosh Arya, Ramji Yadav, Rachna Kumari, and others participated in the protest.

In Kolkata, the protest was held at Dakhhinapon Shopping Complex. A huge number of protestors in the presence of media shouted aloud “We refuse to accept the fact that these kind of lynchings in the name Hindutva or for that matter for any cause can go on like this”; “Stop this immediately”. The protestors raised slogans demanding justice for Junaid, Akhlaq, Pehlu Khan and Zafar. Along with a large number of common people carrying placards that had #NotinmyName written on them, several eminent personalities were also present in the protest. Film director Aparna Sen, Anjan Dutt, Anik Dutta, Budhhadeb Dasgupta, Prof Partha Chattopadhyay, Poet Sabyasachi Deb, Social Activists like Krishna Bandopadhyay, Ratnaboli Ray, Naba Dutta from Forum for Communal Harmony were present. Actor Dhritiman Chatterjee recited a poetry from K G Subramanium’ s book. Singer Mousumi Bhowmik sang two songs and reminded us of our own roles in what is happening today. We have failed no doubt but now it is the duty of the hour to stop this #moblynching immediately. A booklet titled “Know the Truth” against all misinformation that is propagated by BJP/RSS to promote this Hatred and Bigotry were also distributed in the programme. The programme ended with a resolve to carry out these protests in local areas, mixed localities, in every nook and corner of the state to fight this communal atmosphere, to stop this mob lynching of Dalits and to put an end to the atmosphere of hatred and bigotry being propagated.

South Asia Solidarity Forum organized a protest in London against such incidents of mob lynching. Forum convener Kalpana Wilson addressed the protest gathering. Protests were also held in Toronto, Canada.

A petition has been prepared with regard to the lynching of minorities in India, to be sent to the Minorities Department of the United Nations. More than 5,000 people have already signed this petition.