Over a thousand people participated in a silent march — ‘Not in my Name’ — in the city on Thursday evening, as part of a nationwide agitation against the spate of lynchings in the name of religion. The march started from the statue of Babasaheb Ambedkar in front of the Collector office, and went on till the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the Pune railway station.
Among the prominent personalities who attended the protest were socialist leader Baba Adhav, Rajya Sabha MP Anu Aga, veteran filmstar Amol Palekar and Sandhya Gokhale. The representatives of AIMIM also participated in the march.
Representatives of many social organisations including Lokayat, Socialist Party (India), Rashtra Seva Dal and Swaraj Abhiyaan participated in the march. Former state minister Bhai Vaidya was also present.
The silent march started after sharing some information on the reason behind organising it. All the activists wore a black dress or tied a black ribbon on their arm to mark their protest. They carried placards condemning the incidents of attacks on minorities, and pledged to fight against those “spreading communal hatred”.
As the march progressed, the organisers — Lokayat and Socialist Party (India) — distributed pamphlets among local residents on the way. The march was meant to send a message that there is no space for religious hatred in the country, and to tell the minority communities that they were not alone, said the activists.
“There is an increasing number of attacks on members of the minority community, as the environment of hatred on religious grounds is spreading in the country. This is an indication of a serious situation…,” said Adhav, as he addressed the crowd.
He urged everyone to unite and “take on those who are trying to destroy the secular fabric of country”.