Graffiti against hatred, violence pops up around the Capital

After a successful #NotInMyName protest at Jantar Mantar on July 28, the organisers of the campaign, which stands against religion-based violence and hatred, are gearing up for a day of protests on September 10. Poetry recitations, dance performances, and demonstrations at metro stations and universities have been planned.

Ahead of the event, various volunteers have been painting walls across Delhi with messages of love and peace such as ‘New Delhi Rising’ and ‘Rising Against Hatred’. Graffiti has been spotted at South Ex, Outer Ring Road, Moolchand metro station, AIIMS, Lodhi Garden and Khan Market.

One of the volunteers who took up this task, Archit Krishna, said, “As a young person who is a witness to the vitriol present on social and mainstream media everyday, the coming together of artists, poets, musicians, educators and people from all walks of life fills my heart with hope for humanity. We are attempting to send a similar message of anti-hatred and anti-violence through our art.”

‘Seeking accountability’

“Attacks on minorities, Muslims, Dalits and other vulnerable sections have not ceased. The victims of previous attacks have still not got justice. We’re seeking accountability from the government this time around,” said Saba Dewan, the campaign organiser.

“Physical violence is just one end of the spectrum of this larger issue of religion-based hatred. These protests have been organised to remind people of our main aim, which is to end systematic violence and obtain accountability from the government,” she added.

Ms. Dewan said the citizens’ protest: ‘Not in my name: Nafrat ke khilaaf, Bharat ki awaaz’ demands a sense of peace and guarantee of basic security among the people of the country.

The July 28 protest in central Delhi had received criticism from some quarters, who called the agitation an ‘elitist agenda’ to remove the blame and burden of guilt from the backs of people who didn’t want to take any responsibility.

The protest was also slammed because it was initiated by a call on social media from Ms. Dewan, who is a Gurugram-based film-maker.

Keeping the criticisms in mind, the organisers this time have planned events at over a hundred places in Delhi, Noida and Gurugram.

Residential colonies, educational institutions, metro stations, intersections and most importantly, the streets, will witness protests this time around.

‘Citizens’ initiative’

A map containing GPS addresses to all the locations has been uploaded on the campaign’s website.

“The conversation between organisers of these protests reiterated the importance of taking this appeal for sanity and protest against targeted attacks to residential areas. The September 10 protests come out of that conversation,” said co-organiser Rahul Roy.

There is also an option open for people who want to volunteer or organise their own protests on September 10.

“The idea is to reach out to as many people as possible, and also provide an opportunity to people, who out of fear have been quiet thus far, to come out and assert the importance of banishing hatred from everyday politics. It is a massive attempt to re-introduce the importance of ethical behaviour in politics. And the campaign is trying to do this through poetry, music, performance and storytelling,” he added.

The protests were earlier scheduled to take place on August 27 but were postponed due to unrest and imposition of Section 144 in the city after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case.

The delay, however, has not discouraged the organisers. “I believe that participation of citizens of Delhi on 10 September will actually be much more than last time because all these protests are being organised by the citizens themselves, without any organisational or party backing. I am not aware of any other attempt to protest at this scale,” said Mr. Roy.

Source: The Hindu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *