Kolkata: While the Muslims from across India, tied black band during Eid to protest mob lynching Muslims from Kolkata gathered at the iconic Red Road for the Eid namaz on Monday morning. The overcast sky spelt the mood of Muslims, assembling for the traditional namaz to flag off Eid celebration. Many were seen carrying placards, which they displayed post namaz.
Kashif Zafar, general secretary, of Garden Reach Peace Movement Society, one of the silent protestors, said, “We did a silent demonstration at Red Road. Eid is a day of celebration, but in the wake of recent mob violence, there is a sense of helplessness, insecurity and sadness. We have staged this silent protest, as we want the government to break the eerie silence that it has been maintaining over the culture of mob lynching.”
If post namaaz, Zafar and others staged a protest at the Red Road, then in the evening, a silent protest – Concern Against The Rise Of Global Communalism, was organised at the Iran Society, in Kolkata. This meeting which had around 100 people attending the meeting, had political leaders from different parties, lawyers, artists, educators and more, assembling together to ring the alarm bell.
“There is a huge rise in fanatism globally. This meeting is to address the issue of fanatism, in both radical Islam and Hindu fanatics. The idea is to come up with some solutions that can repair the decaying pluralistic fabric of India,”Ritzu Ghoshal, a Kolkata-based lawyer, and spokesperson of West Bengal Pradesh Congress.
Ghoshal also said, “We are going to organise many more such meets, which has a single aim – Making the Prime Minister of India, understand his raj dharam of addressing, the issues like rise of mob lynching culture. A scenario, where certain Indian citizens don’t feel threatened to practice their religion or have food of their choice.”
Mahinder Singh Gill, Presidentof federation of WB Truck Transportation Association, who was also present at the protest meet, said, “We want to create a secular forum, which will travel to various areas and promote secularism. Today, there is a huge need to address the issue of mob lynching culture. If this culture continues, then country will be itching towardsits doom. If the gaurakshaks, will get a free hand, then we will be following the path of destruction that our neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan have followed. We the government need to curb such communal unrest with a hand of steel. We don’t need to talk only about cows or its safety, when we have issues like unemployment, inflation, farmer suicide and more socio-economic issues to be taken care of.” Gill, wants to campaign across India, to mobilise people about national unity, to promote secularism and make people aware of the fake and biased news.
Such silent protest was also staged in Mumbai also. Speaking on the same, Mufti Manzar Hasan Khan Ashrafi Misbahi, the chief Mufti of Madrasa Darul Uloom Ali Hasan Ahle Sunnat, said, “We had also observed a silent protest after Eid’s namaz, as we want the government to address this issue of mob lynching. The numbers of those killed in such violence is increasing. We are also the citizen of the country and the government should do the needful for our safety.”
“We don’t just want the PM to break his silence, we want him to do what needs to be done for the betterment of the nation. As, Vajpayee ji during the Godhra carnage, had indicated that the then CM of Gujarat should do his duties. We, at the moment want him to understand his duties towards, that section of the country, who is living under the constant fear of being lynched or killed, just like that of Junaid, who was stabbed to death just before Eid. We just can’t continue being a silent nation,” added Ghoshal.
There are other protest lined up like Not in my Name – Kolkata citizens are coming together on 28 June to protest against the targeted lynchings of Muslims going on countrywide, the latest being of 16 year old Junaid on 23 June 2017 in Delhi (NCR).
The event which is being organanized without any political affiliation, asserts that the killings and the hatred being unleashed are Not In Our Name. There will be music and poetry to register the protest.