A day before Khandawli, just on the outskirts of India’s capital, celebrated Eid, it began to mourn. A 15-year-old Junaid Khan, who was returning from Delhi with his brother and two friends after shopping for Eid, was stabbed to death on a train. “They flung our skull caps, pulled my brother’s beard, slapped us, and taunted us about eating cow meat. Beef is not even cooked in our village. Once we reached Ballabhgarh, they took out knives. They were older than us — probably in their 30s — so we couldn’t do anything,” Shaqir, Junaid’s brother, told the Indian Express.
Systematic campaign of hate afoot in India. Citizens of India, speak up, fight the bigots! #NotInMyName 6pm Jantar Mantar Delhi.
— Sagarika Ghose (@sagarikaghose) June 28, 2017
— Rana Safvi رعنا राना (@iamrana) June 27, 2017
Independent filmmaker Saba Dewan had similar thoughts when she first posted on her Facebook: ‘Shouldn’t there be protests against the lynchings especially after the murder yesterday in Delhi NCR by a mob of a 16 year old Muslim boy? If not now then when? Why wait for political formations to organize a demonstration ? Why can’t all of us as citizens repulsed by the violence get together in protest at the earliest next week at Jantar Mantar under the banner – Not in my Name.‘
On 28 September 2015 Mohammad Akhlaq’s friends and neighbours, who had eaten biryani and curry at his home on Eid three days earlier, battered him to death. What changed? The Dadri lynching was perhaps one of the most alarming incidents that shook India.
From Mohammad Akhlaq to Junaid Khan, India has changed irrevocably. The #NotinMyName protest intends to break the silence of the government on the issues that matter. If you’re in one of these cities, come along. It’s time to take a stand.