Rabab Zaidi, 35, is contemplating moving back to India after several years abroad. “I want to bring my son home to an India I grew up in,” she said, standing next to her father on the pavement in Jantar Mantar. “What is happening in India is really not good. This is not in the spirit of India, it is unlike India,” her father, Ghazanfar Zaidi, a former professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University chipped in.
Around them, the #NotInMyName protest that was called to condemn the terror attack on seven pilgrims who undertook the Amarnath Yatra, had started to fizzle out. The last time a protest by the same name was called was about two weeks ago, when the city came out in large numbers in solidarity with 15-year-old Junaid Khan.
“We reject hatred, we reject violence,” said filmmaker Rahul Roy on stage. Later, he said the call for the gathering had gone up early on Tuesday. “Unfortunately, we are caught up in a politics which looks and decides how much of a role the religion of a dead body plays in gathering support,” he said. “We stand against any form of violence and are as anguished about the terror attack on the pilgrims.” Roy said that August 27 has been chosen to take the protests to the mohalla level. “We will hold 100 events across the city at various locations. The idea is to get to every mohalla and get across the message into people’s homes,” he said. “We chose August because it’s the month of Independence.”