At Jantar Mantar: Not in my name, I came here to break the silence

#NotInMyName protests: A few metres away, Muslim government employee, who identified himself as a “secular insaan”, said, “I don’t want to live in an India without Hindus or temples. The beauty of our country is diversity. Why would I want to deny myself of that?”

Written by Sowmiya Ashok | New Delhi | Updated: June 29, 2017 1:45 pm
not in my name, #notinmyname, not in my name protest, jantar mnatar, jantar mantar protests, The protest in the Capital mirrored similar gatherings across the country, including in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. (Source: Aaron Pereira)

The fifteen-foot billboard was a grim reminder of every lynching that India has seen in the name of religion since 2015. On Wednesday evening, the billboard showing the national map with blotches of red towered over hundreds who had gathered at Jantar Mantar under the tagline ‘Not In My Name’ to register their protest over these incidents.

Responding to a Facebook post, they came in the name of Junaid Khan, a 15-year-old who was stabbed on a moving train barely a week ago; of Pehlu Khan, the dairy farmer who was beaten to death for transporting cattle three months ago; of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was killed in Dadri on suspicion of storing beef in 2015.

The protest in the Capital mirrored similar gatherings across the country, including in Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

At Jantar Mantar, they included a young man from Inderlok, a housewife from Ghaziabad, Tamil migrants from Dwarka, a teenaged girl from Kashmere Gate, a 90-year-old gynaecologist from Panchsheel Park and a Nepali domestic help from Mayur Vihar.

not in my name, #notinmyname, not in my name protest, jantar mnatar, jantar mantar protests, (Source: Aaron Pereira)

Also in the crowd was 36-year-old Ambar Ahmad with her two young children. “The choice was between coming with my kids or not coming at all. It was a no-brainer,” she said.

“I came to register that we are against this. I came to break the silence. The number of people who showed up may not seem adequate but it is at least a step forward,” said Ambar, dressed in a hijab.

There was also a group of lawyers gathered on one side of a stage at the venue before filmmaker Saba Dewan, whose Facebook post triggered this gathering, began speaking.

“Nobody understands the Constitution better than us lawyers,” said Mohit Sood, an advocate in the Delhi High Court.

“The freedom movement in our country was based on the objective that all of us in this country, irrespective of religion, have rights,” said Sood, who came to know of this event through Twitter.

His friends chose to leave their children at home. “But we have all had to answer tough questions from our children asking us to explain what happened to Junaid,” said Harish Mehra.

An arm’s length away, 16-year-old Vipin Kumar and his friends held on to signs that read: ‘Muslim Lives Matter, All Lives Matter’.

not in my name, #notinmyname, not in my name protest, jantar mnatar, jantar mantar protests, However, a housewife from Ghaziabad felt the protest could have been stronger. (Source: Vishnu Varma)

“Our teacher told us about a boy who was killed on a train last week. We never thought twice about not showing up here today,” said Kumar.

Inspired by the ‘Black Lives Matters’ movement in the US, Kumar’s teacher Azad Khan, who teaches “life skills” to the boys in an NGO in Mehrauli, got the group to paint signs. “We need to be inspired by other such movements from around the world,” said Khan.

It was a Facebook group that brought 24-year-old Mohammad Anas to Jantar Mantar. He and his friends spend time every week in Inderlok, where they live, distributing brochures to passers-by in bus stands “about the good things that Islam teaches” them.

“Every day, you see a new report on TV about an incident. We are not here because we are Muslims, we are here because the Quran teaches us to not discriminate between people. There are no differences between people and everyone should be respected,” said Anas.

However, a housewife from Ghaziabad felt the protest could have been stronger.

not in my name, #notinmyname, not in my name protest, jantar mnatar, jantar mantar protests, Musicians performing on a stage as crowds swell at Jantar Mantar. (Source: Aaron Pereira)

“This gathering is admirable but I am disappointed it isn’t stronger. We should make sure the government knows we are making some noise,” said S Das.

There were also some who wondered aloud why no one was speaking about the killing of Mohammad Ayub Pandit, the J&K DySP who was lynched by a mob outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar last week.

A few metres away, Muslim government employee, who identified himself as a “secular insaan”, said, “I don’t want to live in an India without Hindus or temples. The beauty of our country is diversity. Why would I want to deny myself of that?”

(With inputs from Abhishek Angad)

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  1. R
    Ravanan
    Jun 29, 2017 at 5:29 pm
    They have targeted mr.Modi after Gujarat riots but he become PM They have returned the awards (for to congress) but BJp continued to win all states including UP. Now again jobless chinese blo...b team back on the street ...for what? what you need? Note: Junaid killing or any other killing in the name of cow need to be punished
    Reply
    1. A
      Aditya
      Jun 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm
      Award wapasi gang is back.
      Reply
      1. R
        Ravanan
        Jun 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm
        These guys are jobless...their Chinese payment stopped after demonetisation . now return back after a while. remember all this happens after the strong reports from Chinese media
        Reply
      2. B
        Bharat
        Jun 29, 2017 at 4:15 pm
        BJP has IT cell for spreading lies and abusing. Life of every citizen is precious. BJP is ruling and if anyone is targeted, they are responsible.
        Reply
        1. ಮನೋಜ್
          Jun 29, 2017 at 4:19 pm
          : m.hindustantimes /india-news/karnataka-dalit-tied-to-tree-thrashed-after-son-elopes-with-minor-muslim-girl/story-5or2POfSe0U5RrgKkDbMmM
          Reply
          1. ಮನೋಜ್
            Jun 29, 2017 at 4:24 pm
            Only BJP?. Check Hindustan times of article Karnataka: Dalit tied to tree, thrashed after son elopes with minor Muslim girl. Is Karnataka not ruled by Congress? Why only BJP
            Reply
            1. N
              Nirmal Laungani
              Jun 29, 2017 at 4:35 pm
              Time for you to speak with facts. If you are a Hindu, would you feel secure to live in Malappapuram, Nagpada or Kashmir Valley But Muslims feel secure to live in any part of the country Despite whatever happened in 2002, NOT ONE Muslim left Gujarat Despite all the secular nonsense, NOT ONE Kashmiri Pundit returned to Kashmir Valley
              Reply
              1. A
                Atul Sapre
                Jun 29, 2017 at 6:47 pm
                The muslims are poor and have no choice but to stay where they are. The stupid upper caste Hindus will never understand poverty because they are so used to privileges without any obligations. The muslims who stayed back at par ion were also the poor and they is true of Hindus who stayed back in Pakistan
                1. T
                  Tushar
                  Jun 29, 2017 at 8:39 pm
                  Asif hindus of malapuram came to u and complained ..lol. Poda dey Kerala no matter which religion any one Is safer any where and here people are not discriminated by race religion or caste ... Don't bring ur filthy rotten brain to Kerala
              2. S
                sreedhar
                Jun 29, 2017 at 4:14 pm
                india need to awake and realise the dangerous direction in which it's being recklessly driven by the driver NO-MO and his team RSSS. This is not India and Indian culture. This is madness and fanaticism. Just like it's danger in Pakistan, Afganistan , Syria, it could become disasterous in India too. We must protest against the high dose of religious contamination of public space.
                Reply
                1. ಮನೋಜ್
                  Jun 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm
                  Exactly. All religions included, with RSS and Muslim madrasa fists. : m.hindustantimes /india-news/karnataka-dalit-tied-to-tree-thrashed-after-son-elopes-with-minor-muslim-girl/story-5or2POfSe0U5RrgKkDbMmM
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nirmal Laungani
                    Jun 29, 2017 at 4:33 pm
                    Oh really, can you tell us what are the similarities between India and Pakistan, Syria and company? In India, population of Hindus continues to decline while those of Muslims continue to rise Muslims can live WITH EASE in Hindu majority areas But Hindus would NOT DARE live in Muslim majority areas No Hindu girls would be seen wandering in Muslim majority areas at any point of time, and this is not just for Hyderabad or Malappapuram, but throughout the country. Deluding yourself to believe in the nonsense being preached by the mainstream secular media is nothing short of being foolish
                    Reply
                    1. A
                      Atul Sapre
                      Jun 29, 2017 at 6:48 pm
                      Get your facts rights sir
                      1. T
                        Tushar
                        Jun 29, 2017 at 8:45 pm
                        Don't bring malapuram u mother f cker .there is no such incidents ever happened in malapuram .. Unlike people of other states keralites are educated nd doesn't have time to do such a nonsense .u can't bloom ur lotus n Kerala then u do u try ur nonsense fake information spreading hysteric act among keralites u sanghi
                    2. M
                      Madhav Bastodker
                      Jun 29, 2017 at 3:51 pm
                      This Nautanki company are managed by Congress because they dont have face.
                      Reply
                      1. N
                        Neat Coll
                        Jun 29, 2017 at 2:42 pm
                        This is Part # - Intolerance, Farmer protest and now this. Where were you when 100s of Hindus are killed across the nation? Stop being agents of Congress-Left. Any killing/lynching is bad but don't be selective in your outrage. Congress cannot win election against Modi and uses the old bag of tricks to instigate riots and sabotage Modi's government.
                        Reply
                        1. S
                          Siva M
                          Jun 29, 2017 at 1:56 pm
                          Congratulations Jantar Mantar crowd and to all who have been talking, writing and debating against Brutal attacks and killings in the name of cow. We have finally made, forced, pressurized honorable PM to talk about Gaurakshaks killings. We have to see if there is any left out with brain from Bhakths, Chaddi, RSS group, I seriously doubt it. But let us see. By the way PM used the same wording and sentence we have been shouting over the last 3 years. We know our PM is aged but didn't know that he has got hearing deficiency :)
                          Reply
                          1. ಮನೋಜ್
                            Jun 29, 2017 at 4:09 pm
                            : m.hindustantimes /india-news/karnataka-dalit-tied-to-tree-thrashed-after-son-elopes-with-minor-muslim-girl/story-5or2POfSe0U5RrgKkDbMmM where is my selective outrage brigade?
                            Reply
                            1. T
                              Tushar
                              Jun 29, 2017 at 8:47 pm
                              It's purely a family issue ..even though I condemn the action but there is reason for it unlike junaid was killed for no reason .u IT paid cell pest
                            2. N
                              Nirmal Laungani
                              Jun 29, 2017 at 4:40 pm
                              The PM has spoken before also. No one has the right to take any other person's life BUT remember this thing my friend The vast majority of the country venerates and respects the cow Even in Tamil Nadu, where people are supposedly in the forefront of the protests, JUST 5 of the people eat beef Whether secularists find it amusing or whatever, cow worship is an integral part of this country's culture. Just like people in the West get aggravated when people in China, Korea and elsewhere eat dogs. They protest against the Yulin Dog Festival and some even call for boycott of Chinese products The Western or Indian media never makes fun of such people But when it comes to Hindu respect for cows, these people raise so much hue and cry Like it or not, the vast majority of the country's population demands a blanket ban on cow slaughter. And yes, majority wins. Always
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Atul Sapre
                                Jun 29, 2017 at 6:50 pm
                                Cow worshipping is a northern culture. Dalits always eat beef it's a cheap source of protein. I eat beef
                                1. T
                                  Tushar
                                  Jun 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm
                                  Brahmins and upper caste Hindus worship cows .. And they are minority in India pared to dalits and beef eating Indians
                              2. K
                                K.P.RAJENDRANATHAN
                                Jun 29, 2017 at 1:45 pm
                                It is a get together of chronic anti Modi gang, unable to digest his coming to power, with active support and presence of of those of who have vested intrest to see a weakened India. On one pretext or other, this entertainment will continue., and none can help it.
                                Reply
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