‘Do all you can to stop lynching immediately’, SOAS India Society of London tells GoI
London: Joining the India-wide protest rallies, SOAS India Society on June 28 held a protest in London making it global.
The protest campaign named #NotInMyName was organised across cities in India by the civil society, against the lynching of minorities in India in the name of cow protection, in many cities across India.
In order to hold the protests at the same time as in India, the organizers in London started the demonstration at 2 pm (British time).
The organizers said that they felt the need and urgency to support their fellow citizens against the spree of lynchings taking place in the name of Gau Raksha (Cow Protection).
They also demanded that the Government of India should do ‘all it can’ to stop the atrocities immediately.
“We at SOAS India Society heard about the ‘Not In My Name’ protests, and felt the urgency to support the cause and instantly decided to organise a demonstration, to protest the incidences of mob lynching in India, and condemn the communal nature they possess,” said Ruzbeh Hodiwala, Co-founder and President of SOAS India Society.
He added that they wanted to show solidarity to the protesting citizens back in India and made sure that they register their protest at the same time as in India.
“We wanted to support our fellow countrymen who were organizing the protests in Indian cities,” Hodiwala said.
He added, “Our team had a choice to organise the demo on a later date or in the evening of 28 June. But we wanted the demo to have a symbolic significance, and therefore we decided to hold it at 2 PM (British time) to coincide with similar marches across India. Hats off to our team for mobilizing resources in less than thirty-six hours and working late night to ensure that the message regarding the demo reaches as many people as possible.”
As a gesture of respect, the names of all victims were read.
“We walked towards the Gandhi Statue at Tavistock place garden to light the candles and pay tribute to the victims of mob lynching. Through this protest, which brought quite many Indians in the British diaspora together, we would like to urge the government to enact stronger law against mob lynching and expedite the trials and deliver justice,” asserted Hodiwala.
While welcoming the statement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Killing in the name of cow protection is not acceptable, SOAS Society has urged the Indian government to do more.
“However, more urgently, we demanded that the government do all it can to stop the spree of lynchings that have been occurring. These need to end immediately. We are glad that the Prime Minister was compelled to make a statement in Ahmedabad remarking that killing in the name of cow worship is not acceptable. In that sense, we welcome the Prime Minister’s response to the protests and hope that his government acts on his words and cracks down on all those who have spreading hatred in the name of cow-protection,” Hodiwala added.
It is pertinent to mention that the PM’s warning was ignored, as hours later a man, Alimuddin, was lynched in Jharkhand after he was accused of carrying beef.
Daneeh Majid, the Co-President pointed out that they were not acting on any ‘cross border agenda as some suggested.
“By no means were we acting as activists on any cross-border whims or any domestic partisan agenda as some would have the nation believe. Yes, the effectiveness of such protests can be debatable on policy level,” he said, seemingly pointing to certain news channels which reported about the event, with threatening overtones, calling the protesters “anti-national”.
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He further added, “But I myself have witnessed the strategic whitewashing, of this government’s silent complicity, regarding these incidents amongst the policy circles and ordinary citizenry of Britain/America. Organizing these protests in London was a means to, at least, start the process of bringing to light the Government’s willful ignorance on an international and domestic level. And it worked to a certain extent,” Majid maintained.
Noted Kashmiri origin novelist Nitasha Kaul who also took part in the protest said it is important to stand up against this violence and say ‘Not In My Name’.
“In the 19th century America, the state was complicit in the lynching of the other that was the slave. Be it America then or India now, it is important that we stand up collectively to this violence and say not in my name. In contemporary India, the other is the Muslim, the Kashmiri, the Northeastern, or the lower-caste,” Kaul said.