A country with a population of 1.2 billion people, with diverse culture and living in a democracy cannot be perfect. But what causes people to turn to violence to an extent where people are being lynched to death?
When 16-year-old Junaid Khan was stabbed to death on a train last week, there was unrest among people and this made stomachs churn.
A mob accused him and his three companions of carrying beef in their bags. The issue began with a dispute over seats and it escalated brutally. Junaid, his brother Haseeb and their two cousins were travelling back to their village in Haryana's Ballabhgarh from Delhi after Eid shopping when they were attacked with knives on Thursday evening. The teen was later thrown off the train at Asaoti station, just 30 km from the national capital.
This isn't the only case which has come to light. Mob killings are growing in trend and this trend raises a few questions. Is India's cultural diversity it's biggest enemy? Do democratic rights have no meaning? Are we really living in a free world or some trapped cave which is called democracy but doesn't dig into its true meaning. Secularism is somewhat losing its way in India as we progress and it's a big reason to worry.
This case adds to the list of mob killings which have shocked the country in the last six months or so. To address this brutal issue, Gurgaon-based filmmaker, Saba Dewan, posted a message on Facebook calling for a protest at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Wednesday evening against the recent spate of lynchings of Muslims and attacks on Dalits. She decided to call the demonstration “Not in My Name”.
This campaign is going to be replicated in 12 cities across the country and film writer Arpita Chatterjee is at the helm of the Mumbai protest. Gathering at Carter Road Promenade, Bandra, she just hopes to throw some light on these brutal killings.
“When I read about Saba Dewan’s campaign in Delhi, I decided to replicate it in this city. It is a silent protest against the recent killings in our country and living in a democracy, I’m trying to voice my concern over this grave issue. It’s an open protest and people who want to acknowledge the recent tragic cases in an absolute serene manner, are welcome to join us. This campaign is not against or in favour of any community and has no political propaganda. We want to express our concern about the violence in our country. We are not okay with just sitting back and tolerating people being killed everyday. It is going to be an absolute peaceful protest" - Arpita Chatterjee, organiser of 'Not in my name' Mumbai.
The silent protest has been organised at 5 pm today at Carter Road Promenade, Bandra West. People who want to acknowledge this catastrophe in a non-political and non-violent way should support this campaign. You can find out more about this campaign here: https://www.facebook.com/events/236982546814547/
'Not in my name' has been trending on Twitter in positive light.
— VISHAL DADLANI (@VishalDadlani) June 27, 2017 ">
#Mumbai It's time to stand up & announce no more #lynching/killings #NotInMyName Be there @ Carter Road Promenade Bandra 5-7pm Wed Jun28 RT pic.twitter.com/LVD2rWPllN
— Danish Husain (@DanHusain) June 27, 2017 ">
Mob killing cases in recent times
March 2017, Rajasthan: 55-year-old dairy farmer was accused of smuggling cattle in Rajasthan’s Alwar area on the national highway and was beaten so brutally that he succumbed to death.
May 2017, Jharkhand: Vikas and Gautam Verma along with their family friend, Gangesh Gupta were lynched by a mob of frenzy tribals in a tribal locality on suspicion of being child lifters.
June 2017, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir: Srinagar’s DSP, Ayyub Pandith was lynched by an angry mob outside Nowhatta’s Jamia Masjid.
June 2017, Outskirts of Delhi: 16-year-old Junaid and his companions were stabbed to death in a train.