Country-wide protests against spate of lynchings

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:June 29, 2017 2:42 am

Hundreds of people took to the streets across the country on Wednesday to protest against the lynchings of Muslims as part of a “not in my name” campaign. They carried placards reading “break the silence”, “no place for Islamophobia” and “shed hate not blood” etc to register their protest.

In Bengaluru, over 600 writers, thinkers, students, social activists and lawyers participated in the protest. Historian Ramachandra Guha, who was among the protesters, held a placard with a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi hugging US President Donald Trump. “Follow our Prime Minister, hug one beef eater,” the placard read. “It was a complete social media campaign. Ramachandra Guha, SG Vasudev, Nagaragere Ramesh and other prominent persons participated in it. We are against any violence and hence we gathered here to protest…,” said writer Karthik Venkatesh. An ailing actor Girish Karnad was part of the protest in Bengaluru as well.

Protesters, including actors Shabana Azmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Rajat Kapoor and Ranvir Shorey, braved rains in Mumbai and turned out to protest on Carter Road. Azmi underlined that these were not isolated incidents while calling for a stringent law against the perpetrators. “We are demanding a law against mob lynching,” the PTI quoted her as saying.

Hundreds of people braved rains and assembled in Kolkata’s Dakhinapan to protest against lynching of Muslims and Dalits. They expressed their anger through songs, poems and speeches holding banners denouncing targeted lynching of Muslims. “It is affecting everybody and it is an automatic response. The situation has been alarming for a very long time. It took us some time to recognise it. But there is hope too as we still have a very strong and committed civil society. We have to stand up and be counted. The protest is happening in and outside the country and that is important,” said Seagull Books publisher Naveen Kishore. The protesters in Kolkata included filmmakers Aparna Sen and Anjan Dutta as well as actor Dhritiman Chatterjee.

Similar protests were held in Allahabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kochi, Lucknow, Patna and Thiruvananthapuram as well.

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